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Friday Nights series includes concert by Jesse McCartney

Portrait of Jesse McCartney

Excitement is building for the 2022 season of Friday Nights, a six-week series of free events created for Emporia State University students that showcase Emporia as an exciting home during their college careers.

Added to the traditional tailgate event, First Friday Art Walk and hypnotist is a concert on Sept. 23 featuring Jesse McCartney, a New York-born and Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, artist and actor. His most recognizable songs include “Beautiful Soul” and “Leavin’” In 2020, McCartney was unveiled as a runner-up Turtle in the finale of “The Masked Singer.”

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 in Kellogg Circle on the ESU campus. An opening act is still being finalized, then McCartney will take the stage at 8 p.m. His concert is sponsored by ESU’s Union Activities Council and Friday Nights.

“We had such good response to last year’s first series of Friday Nights events that we knew we had to repeat for 2022,” said Blythe Eddy, senior director of ESU’s Center for Student Involvement. “When we finally inked the contract for Jesse McCartney, the students on our committee were ecstatic!”

The full six-week Friday Nights series kicks off this week with a tailgate in Kellogg Circle at 7 p.m. Friday. The first 250 to attend will eat free barbecue and receive free Game Day T-shirts to wear to the Sept. 1 ESU football home opener. ESU Athletics is co-sponsoring the kick-off.

Other Fridays are:

  • Sept. 2 — First Friday Art Walk in downtown Emporia and ESU’s Schallenkamp and King halls, 5-9 p.m.

Grab an Art Walk Passport at participating locations and make your way around the Emporia First Friday Art Walk featuring art at downtown businesses and in ESU’s Schallenkamp and King Hall. The Art Walk Passport includes a list of each participating business and ESU locations (with address), the artists being featured at each venue and any special discounts being offered by businesses during the Art Walk. At the end of the Art Walk participants may leave their completed Passport at any venue, organizers collect the Passports, and the prize drawing takes place at 9:30 p.m. All ESU students who turn in a Passport will be entered into our weekly drawing! Co-Sponsored by ESU Art Department/Emporia First Friday/Residential Life.

  • Sept. 9 — Fiesta in the Square, ESU’s Union Square, 5-7 p.m.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with HALO and Diversity Student Programs. Stop by for walking tacos, horchata, music and make a craft celebrating this special month. Co-sponsored by HALO and Diversity Student Programs.

Union Takeover, Memorial Union, 7-9 p.m.

From Grocery BINGO, to karaoke, FREE ice cream, to music, crafts and more don’t miss any of the fun activities! Something for everyone! Also appearing is Doug’s Wire Writing, a unique art form in which a single piece of wire is magically bent into any requested shape — names, dates, phrases, titles, pictures, symbols, etc. – right before your very eyes in only 1-2 minutes! Co-sponsored by the Center for Student Involvement.

  • Sept. 16 — Water Games, Student Recreation Center, 5-7 p.m.

A night of water, water, and more water! Activities include 6on-6 water fights, GIANT water slide, water kickball, and more! Co-sponsored by Recreation Services.

Comedian Eric O’Shea, Webb Hall in Memorial Union, 8 p.m.

As a veteran performer of over 1,800 colleges and universities and countless corporate events, Eric’s wit and priceless observations take the audience through their embarrassing childhood and hidden everyday moments that drive them insane! Co-sponsored by Office of International Education.

  • Sept. 23 — Jesse McCartney concert, Kellogg Circle, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 30 — Beach Party, ESU sand volleyball courts, 5-7 p.m.

Food, fun, yard games and prizes after the 3 p.m. ESU soccer game. Includes free hot dogs, chips and drinks. Co-sponsored by Recreation Services.

Hypnotist David Hall, Webb Hall in Memorial Union, 8 p.m.

Boston’s own David Hall hosts an unpredictable show creating a truly unique experience for the hypnotized participants as well as the audience. His show has been described as “jaw dropping,” “hilarious,” and “downright fun.” This highly regarded performer who travels to 100s of colleges throughout the year is ready to blow your mind!

For more information about Friday Nights, go online to