Brown Bag concert series

In this 2018 file photo Michael Magno performs a cover of Bill Withers' "Lovely Day" Tuesday afternoon during Rome Area Council for the Arts free Brown Bag concert series at Rotary Park downtown. / Ross Rogers

Lunchers in downtown Rome can take in a free concert on the bank of the Oostanaula River.

Brown Bag concerts run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month through October. They’re held at Rotary Plaza, on the riverwalk between the Forum River Center and the Judicial Center.

“There’s some nice shade there,” said organizer Scott Thompson. “We encourage people to grab a lunch from one of the downtown restaurants and bring it over.”

Thompson received a grant from Rome Area Council for the Arts to put on the concerts, which will feature a different regional artist each month.

The first one, in May, spotlighted Rick McKee of Cartersville. Rome’s Gene Brigham will play today. Thompson has the October slot.

“It’s solo singer-songwriters doing original music; a mix of styles,” Thompson said. “Gene is kind of more folk-y. A couple are country. Every month is different.”

There are a few benches at the pocket park, or attendees can bring a chair or small blanket. Thompson said the first concert of the season didn’t draw a lot of people but they’re working to spread the word.

“We’re committed to keep doing it, to get people out there,” he said. “We have a lot of good writers in the region and this is a great way to spend your lunch hour.”

Underground Rome

Another occasional event showing off underappreciated local treasures is set for Saturday.

Tickets are still available for tours of Underground Rome. The $25 fee benefits the Sexual Assault Center of Northwest Georgia.

Participants will be guided around the basements on Broad Street, which were originally at ground-level before the street was raised.

“You can see the old foundations before the flood,” said Kim Davis, SACNWGA director. “There’s a water wheel under Johnny’s (Pizza) and I know the history museum has the old jail. We haven’t shown that in some time.”

Architect Mark Cochran will present a short history of downtown Rome to set the stage for the tours, which will start in the upstairs room of the Rome Area History Museum.

There are four time-slots to choose from: 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the Georgia’s Rome Gift Shop and Visitors Center in the old red caboose next to the civic center on Jackson Hill.