In what is being called a “Friday Night Special,” Waxahachie’s Old Fashioned Singing Project is offering tickets for dinner and concert for $20 for its opening night, Friday, March 25, at the Chautauqua Auditorium in Getzendaner Park. This ticket is for all age groups (adults and children) and is being offered for $12 off the regular price.

“We have sold several tickets for our opening night event, but most of them have been sold to people from outside Waxahachie,” said R. G. Huff, the project director. “We want local folks to attend this first of what we hope will be many weekend events over the next several years, so we’re offering this special enticement in the form of reduced-price tickets.

“We also want to be sure we have a good-sized group on hand to try out the process of feeding people under the revival-style tent to be erected in the middle of the park near the picnic pavilion. With renting the tent/tables/chairs and getting all that set up and ready, Babe’s Chicken coming down from Cedar Hill to cater, and working out all the details of putting the show on stage for the first time with an audience, we want to do this test-run with a full retinue of people at the dinner and at the concert,” he said.

The hour and a half concert of southern congregational music will begin at 7 p.m. in the Chautauqua Auditorium; the dinners will be served beginning at 5:45 p.m. under the tent across the street. It will be about a three-hour event for those who come to dinner and the concert, Huff said.

“We’re putting the final touches on the music and the staging and get more excited with every rehearsal,” Huff said. “We are more and more confident that this project will bring people into Waxahachie to experience the historical re-enactment of things that happened in Getzendaner Park in the mid-to-early 1900s – and that while they are here, they will shop and get more acquainted with the charm of Waxahachie.

“The music is so much fun to sing,” one of the performers said. “I didn’t have the opportunity to grow up with this kind of songs, so this is all new to me – and I love it. I can hardly wait until the first time we sing it with an audience.”

“I’m the same way,” another singer said. “The fact that it is new to me doesn’t make it feel ‘old fashioned’ at all. For all I know, these are new songs with toe-tapping beats and down-home messages about faith and heaven and stuff like that.”

The Saturday concerts March 26 are at 3 p.m. (with dinner following) and at 7 p.m. with dinner served at 5:45 p.m. like on Friday night. The Saturday tickets are available for $5 off for residents of Ellis County, making them $27 for adult dinner and concert and $13 for adult concert-only; children’s tickets are also discounted $5 from their original price.

“In every way we want to the people of Waxahachie and Ellis County to be with us in this project and we’re doing everything we can to encourage them to attend,” Huff said. “We hope that several years from now when we’ve established ourselves as a destination event for groups from all over the state, we hope that the people who attend this first weekend will proudly say, ‘I was there when this thing first started.’ That way we’ll make some early impact on the community through the Old Fashioned Singing Project.”

For tickets, visit www.WaxaOFS.com or call 972-923-2709.