5 p.m. VIP party at the new Sandbar Sub Shop location, 745 New Hampshire St.
6 p.m. Cowboy Indian Bear
9 p.m. The Fabulous Thunderbirds
General admission: Free
Beer garden: $20 the day of, $15 in advance
VIP: $50, sold in advance only
Advance tickets may be bought at thesandbar.com
As the niece of Sandbar owner Peach Madl, Katlyn Conroy has been put to work organizing the annual Sandbar Block Party, which is held every August to celebrate the anniversary of the beach-themed bar.
This summer, Conroy will get the chance to step out from behind the scenes. She and the other members of Cowboy Indian Bear, a Lawrence indie rock band, will play a 50-minute set at the Block Party, opening for the Grammy-nominated The Fabulous Thunderbirds.
“This year I've had more of a hand in it than usual, so it was just kind of fitting that we play," Conroy said. "I always go to the block parties and they're always a total blast."
The section of Eighth Street between New Hampshire and Massachusetts streets will be closed down for the Block Party on Saturday. There will be a beer garden, VIP party and activities for kids, including a bounce house. The concert is free, but entry to the beer garden located near the stage is $20.
VIP tickets allow access to the beer garden and to the pre-party, where there will be drinks, appetizers and a meet-and-greet with members of The Fabulous Thunderbirds. These tickets are $50 and must be bought in advance.
"We always try to pick a band that is fun and enjoyable for different types of listeners," said Andrew Madl, chief development officer for the Sandbar. "People can walk around and listen to music; it's something we all have a good time at."
Cowboy Indian Bear will play songs from its newly released album “Live Old, Die Young” starting at 6 p.m. The dreamy, eclectic sounds will attract a younger audience and will set things up for The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Conroy said.
“It’s very drum-based. We all sing, and we harmonize a lot,” she said. “We describe it as really pretty indie rock or indie pop.”
The Fabulous Thunderbirds, a blues-rock band formed in 1974, will take the stage at 9 p.m.
The Texas-based band was nominated for a Grammy Award for in 1987 for their song “Tuff Enuff.”
The block party is also serving as the grand opening to the newest Sandbar Sub Shop location at 745 New Hampshire St., the space formerly occupied by the Mirth Café. The restaurant, which sells sandwiches and wraps, is set to open Friday.
The new location will house a 24-hour Zarco convenience store and a Peoples Bank branch.
“Downtown is just a really good environment, and it’s been very good to us at the Sandbar for the past 24 years,” Madl said. “We were given the opportunity to open downtown and we couldn’t pass it up.”
The downtown space will be headquarters for the sub shop, which has other locations in Zarco gas stations on W. Sixth Street, E. 23rd Street and along Interstate 35 in Ottawa.