Our little town has concerts in the park every Thursday night in the summer. We live close enough to the park to hear them without going to the park. It’s a fun event and draws people into town. The concerts are held in an amphitheater with a grassy hillside surrounding it. People bring blankets and lawn chairs and local organizations sell snacks for fundraisers. Most of the talent for these concerts are local bands and performers, each drawing their own crowd depending on their style.
Occasionally a local group will fund a more recognized name to sing at the park. Last summer Big Daddy Weave came to perform. We took a stroll around the park during the concert. I have never seen the park more full. It was really cool to see so many people come to the concert.
During the Baby Food Festival, they used to host big concerts with admission fees. I saw Miranda Lambert sing shortly after her first album came out. It was a great night for an outdoor concert and she gave a great performance. Since then the festival committee has tried to make the concerts more accessible for the community, so there are lip-sync contests featuring the word ‘baby’ of course and a variety of garage bands with high school students trying to belt out the lyrics to songs they don’t know because they were popular when I was in high school.
The other experience we’ve had with open air concerts is during our vacations in Minnesota. A small town call Cross Lake had concerts in the park every Saturday evening. We would bring a picnic and enjoy the music. One cover band that stood out was called SK8TERS which sang a lot of classic rock. SK8TERS was an acronym for something but I can’t recall all of it. I’m pretty sure it starts with ‘still krazy…’ The kids had a great time dancing to their songs. my daughter was even imitating the moves from Angelina Ballerina. There was also Johnny Cash impersonator and an Elvis impersonator. The Elvis impersonator was probably my favorite. He had a great sense of humor. (He makes an appearance in Hauntings of the Heart.) He went for the Elvis in Vegas look with the rhinestone jumpsuits, sideburns, and the ginormous belts. Well, during one of his songs, the hip shaking caused his belt to come loose and wiggle down his hips. I guess there’s one reason to be thankful for jumpsuits.
I loved the atmosphere around the Cross Lake concerts. Families out having fun. It became the setting for a short story I wrote called Sparking a Change.