The 2017 Arts in the Park season will kick off June 7, leading into an exciting summer blast of music featuring some new, high-energy performers as well as favorites like the City Band, Dr. Groovy & the Soul Surgeons, and the Tom Milo Big Band.
For 17 years, the concert series has livened up Wednesday and Thursday evenings at scenic Fox Park’s Dennis Smith Amphitheater with genres including rock, pop, jazz, blues, country, big band and Christian. The experience is enhanced by the wraparound of exhibits by talented local artists and brief poetry presentations.
This year, some brand new bands have been added to the lineup, embracing additional musical styles.
On Thursday, June 22, Washington, D.C.-based Black Masala will bring its fun whirlwind of a show to the local stage, featuring “a healthy dose of funk, soul and eclectic grooves” backed by trombone, sax, trumpet and sousaphone.
On July 20, Pierce Avenue swings into the park, fronted by former local singing sensation Jamie (Beaver) Pierce and her husband, Tony. Now based in Nashville, Tenn., their country harmonies will thrill the audience.
Regional band Island 49 will roll in with a tropical vibe on July 27, while another area favorite, Nawty, will rock the park on August 3.
Kennedy’s Kitchen will enchant listeners with its lilting Irish tunes backed by fiddle, flute, whistle, mandolin, tenor banjo, bouzouki, guitar, and bass on August 10.
On August 24, Laurel Taylor and Kaden Slay from La Porte’s new People and Songs ministry will provide a taste of contemporary Christian music. The duo also will be highlighted during the June 8 “Youth Concert.”
In addition to the La Porte City Band led by Chuck Steck, other annual favorites such as Me & the Boys, Cripple Creek (at Stone Lake Beach), PT & the Cruisers, Junior & the Igniters, Midwest Hype, and the Hoosier Stars will return to delight the crowds.
Pre-show music featuring many other talented performers begins at 6:15 p.m. in the park, followed by the concerts at 7. Find out more about the schedule and featured performers at www.artsintheparklaporte.com.
Also mark your calendars to register for the Wednesday, June 14 Park and Canvas event beginning at 6 p.m. with local artist Dori Huber. Participants of this fundraiser will enjoy the City Band while Dori leads them stroke by stroke in creating their own work of art. Even first timers will find pleasure in picking up a paint brush.
Weekly concert attendees are encouraged to come hungry and enjoy the sizzling I-Street Meats hot dogs, as well as chips, popcorn and homemade cookies. Proceeds from the concessions are a critical support of this free annual series.
Organizations or individuals willing to volunteer may register on the web site. Helpers are needed to run Popeye’s Poppin’ in the Park Concessions, along with youth who assist by selling goods on the hillside.
Article submitted by Sandy Gleim and Mary Allen