Lakewood Ranch’s Music on Main returns for the first time since March 2020. AND Business owners trumpet return of first Fridays event.

by: Scott Lockwood Staff Writer for East County Observer

A Main Street at Lakewood Ranch staple finally is set to make its return.

Music on Main, traditionally held on the first Friday night of each month, returns Nov. 5. The event was last held in March 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

“The timing couldn’t be better,” said Amanda Zipperer, property manager for Main Street at Lakewood Ranch. “The weather will be fantastic, and people are anxious to return to in-person events, especially popular ones like Music on Main. The event was suspended in March 2020, so that’s 610 days of waiting.”

Gerard Serrano, owner of Big Olaf Creamery, said he would gladly make a few extra preparations for an event that draws huge crowds.

“We’ve been doing well this year,” Serrano said. “Of course, more people means more business. Prior to the pandemic, that was our busiest night of the month. A lot of kids, a lot of teenagers.”

Fantasy Flowers Owner Michelle Bridges said she’s “super excited” because before COVID-19, there was such great foot traffic at Main Street at Lakewood Ranch and even without Music on Main it was a more lively atmosphere.

“It just feels so good to have the events coming back and especially that one because everyone loved it and it’s a fun night for the whole street,” she said.

Paris Bistrot Owner Chris Nebra was one of many business owners along Lakewood Ranch Main Street eagerly awaiting the return of Music on Main. Nebra says the Music nights help draw in future business. Photo by Scott Lockwood.

Bridges added gift shop items to Fantasy Flowers during the pandemic. She said the shop used to sell a lot of single roses, flowers and candies on Music nights, but expects that to change with the new additions to the store.

“Those weren’t something people want to walk around with normally,” Bridges said. “But now that we have all the gift items,we’re excited to see how it changes. “I think it’s going to increase our sales.”

Paris Bistrot owner Chris Nebra said business at his restaurant has been great and that events like Music on Main will help more people discover it.

“We’ve been very lucky,” Nebra said about how Paris Bistro has fared during the pandemic. “Music on Main will definitely bring new people to the street since we’ve had a lot more people move to the area that never have experienced a Music on Main. I believe it’s going to be a big thing.”

Nebra said Music on Main is more of a “pizza and ice cream” night for families.

“It’s not a big night for us because families aren’t looking to spend the money on a French dinner,” he said. “I believe it will bring us customers later because they’ll find out about us while they’re here.”

Serrano said his business, like so many others, survived the best it could during the pandemic and credited area residents and visitors for being understanding.

“There’s been a lot of supportive people,” he said. “It’s great news that everyone is coming back. It’s going to be great for all of us.”

Zipperer is confident Music on Main is once more a must-see event.

“The overall feeling is that everyone is ready,” she said. “This event played a large part in bringing our community together. It also helped many charities raise funds for their causes. Since inception, this Music on Main has helped raise millions of dollars that stay local. Many residents and businesses have been waiting patiently for its return, and it’s finally here.”


What: Music on Main

When: 6-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5

Where: Main Street at Lakewood Ranch

Who: Rebel Heart will be playing pop, rock and country

Benefits: Lakewood Ranch Community Activities.

Admission: Free