Despite now living down south in Nashville to pursue her singing career, Ayla Brown said Wednesday's blast furnace heat that descended on Belmont was something special.
"You should have been here when we set the stage up," said Brown making a desperate face and fanning her face.
"I guess I'm going to sweat more than I thought tonight," said the "American Idol" finalist, who spent the hours before the opening concert of the 23rd annual signing autographs in the air conditioned comfort of sponsor 's main office.
And despite the 90 degree late afternoon heat, a brave audience filled the field before the stage at Payson Park playground to hear the popular Brown kick-off the festival for the third-year running.
Tomi Olson, the festival's founder and producers, invited residents back to Wednesday afternoon concerts that will run to the last week in August.