A "street party" complete with live music is on tap for Thursday evening when the Arts Council formerly dedicates the newly restored marquee on the historic Ellis Theater.

Byrd Avenue in front of the Ellis from Main Street to Walnut Street will be closed for the dedication and ribbon cutting which starts at 6 p.m.

No membership or admission will be required to attend the street party.

During the event the donor who made marquee restoration possible will be announced, said Tim Moore, Arts Council president.

Refreshments and popcorn will be available while attendees listen to live music provided by Nick Stewart and his band Bad Habit, a young country and Southern rock group.

"Bring your lawn chair and join us for a fun night," Sharon Deweese, executive director of the council, said. "This marquee project is one that we are so excited about completing."

Arts Council memberships will also be available during the street party.

The marquee, which has hung in disrepair for years, received a much needed makeover days before the taping of the fifth season finale of "The Marty Stuart Show."

On June 28, a sold-out crowd packed the Ellis Theater for the taping of the show, which was filled with music, laughter and a few special presentations. It airs on RFD-TV on Aug. 31 at 7 p.m.

With the new marquee up, the Arts Council will now focus on its next project.

"The historical building was built in the early 1920s and there are many, many projects that we are hoping to complete," Deweese said.

"With the support of the community and donations, whether large or small, we can make this happen."

Deweese said a "wish list" of items were needed for the Ellis, including new stage curtains to replace the old ones, carpet on the aisles, an ice machine and hot dog machine for the concession stand, sound equipment and all new seating.

The Arts Council is a 501 3 (c) non-profit organization and contributions of $25 or more are tax-deductible.

"Your community is only as good as what you put into it," Deweese said. "We have so much talent and interest in the arts in our community.

"Our recent event with RFD TV and The Marty Stuart show confirms that we can bring in great shows to our theater. We encourage everyone to get involved and participate. The Philadelphia-Neshoba County Arts Council continues to strive to provide the best entertainment for all to enjoy whether young or old."

On Aug. 19 and 20, auditions for "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" production will be held at the theater at 6:30 p.m.

There are many young age and several adult parts.