Chili's to host Tomato Fest Street Dance Friday Night

Jacksonville native DeWayne Grimes will visit his hometown again to perform with his band “Honky Tonk Heroes,” at the 22nd Annual Tomato Fest’s street dance from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday evening.

Although the five-member band has played in Jacksonville numerous times, Grimes said this is the first time the group will play at the Tomato Fest’s street dance, which has been moved from the downtown area to Chili’s Restaurant.

“We’re excited,” Grimes said. “It’s always good to play in J’ville. We’re going to play stuff from the first record and stuff from the new one.”

According to the band’s Web site,, Grimes said, “Being an only child and alone at home during the summers, I had plenty of time to listen to artists like Hank Thompson, Hank Snow, Johnny Horton, Buck Owens, Conway and Loretta, Haggard, Jones, Frizzel, and Elvis just to name a few.”

Grimes said his musical influences include Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard, and he was led into music by chance.

“I was never in a band or anything — it’s just happened one day,” he said. “Some buddies of mine where playing at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and asked if I could sing with them. A couple of weeks later we were in the studio ... It was an overnight thing — we’ve been doing it for five years now.”

The band’s newest CD, which is currently untitled, will be released in July. Special guest guitarist on the recording is James Burton, who played with Elvis for nine years.

“We’re looking forward to playing and hope everybody comes out,” Grimes said.

Other musical entertainers to perform Friday night at the street dance include Lauren Alexander, Laurel Lynn Cooper, Nearly There and headliners, Morrison-Williams.

This is the first year the dance will be held at Chili’s, and also the first time alcohol will be served during the event.

The Chili’s parking lot will be blocked off during the dance, but parking will be available in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

If you go

What: First Chili’s Street Dance

Where: Chili’s Restaurant, 1225 S. Jackson St.

When: 6 p.m. to midnight Friday

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