Music is in the air: Outdoor concerts abound in region

The Summit City Singers perform at a concert at Leo-Cedarville’s Riverside Gardens. (Contributed)

By Megan Knowles

With summer officially underway, outdoor concerts have kicked off as well throughout the region.

Music, Market and Munchies at New Haven’s Schnelker Park

After a successful first year, New Haven Parks and Recreation’s Music, Market and Munchies — or M3, as the organizers call it — has high hopes going into its second season.

“It was hugely successful in our opinion. We had beautiful weather and we just felt there were so many people who came out to support it,” Parks Recreation Director Anna Gurney said. “We’re hoping to build on that again this year.”

After eight years of a more traditional farmers market, Gurney said the parks department was ready to try something different.

“We just decided we were going to brainstorm and reinvent the market to be more of a community event, more (of a) gathering, and try to reach a broader spectrum of people in New Haven,” she said.

M3 includes a makers market, where food and baked goods are sold alongside items like jewelry, soap, crafts and more.

“Right now we have over 20 vendors lined up,” Gurney said.

It also includes a band and food trucks each week. In addition, the markets on July 10 and 31 will include a beer and wine tent and the July 17 event will feature a kids market.

All events run from 5-8 p.m.

The July 10 event will also coincide with the Canal Cruzers’ Cruise-In on Broadway and a dedication at Schnelker Park’s veterans memorial.

One holdover from the event’s days as a farmers market is the decision to keep it on a Wednesday.

“It’s kind of a nice hump day (activity to) get you through your week; come down and have a beer, have dinner, do some shopping and just hang out,” Gurney said.

Music, Market and Munchies schedule:

July 10: Junk Yard Band with Ziffles Zip n Go

July 17: Mason-Dixon Line Band with Smokehaus BBQ

July 24: Cadillac Ranch with Bravas

July 31: Hubie Ashcraft Band with King Arthur’s Trolley and Al Grado Pizza

Concerts on the Green in Aboite Township’s Indian Trails Park

For more than two decades the Aboite Civil Township Office has been hosting a concert series at Indian Trails Park.

“It’s a free community event as a way to draw people out together and to enjoy the wonderful parks that our township offers,” office manager Chris Perez explained.

The concerts kick off July 10 and run Wednesday evenings into September, with most of the acts being returning “fan favorites,” she said.

New however this year is Blue Pluto, a band consisting of high school and college students from the southwest Allen County area, Perez said.

In addition to the music the Aboite Township Volunteer Fire Department has cookout food for sale, and Perez said there may be other additions in the future as well.

She encouraged people to bring lawn chairs and blankets and “just be prepared to have a good time.”

A new band shell has also been constructed at the park, and natural rock seating has been added for concertgoers, according to the township’s website.

Concerts are from 7-9 p.m.

2019 Concert on the Green schedule:

July 10: Belairs

July 17: J Taylors

July 24: Blue Pluto

July 31: Party Boat

Aug. 7: The Bulldogs

Aug. 14: Scratch n Sniff

Aug. 21: Biff and the Cruisers

Aug. 28: Shannon Persinger Band

Sept. 4: The Todd Harold Duo

Friday Night Concert Series at Leo-Cedarville’s Riverside Park

The Friday night concerts in Leo-Cedarville were in the works long before the first band took the stage, parks board member and concerts founder Terry Jo Lightfoot said.

Twenty years ago, before the gazebos at Riverside Park were built, Lightfoot saw the portable stage the Fort Wayne Wizards used to use to host the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

“I got the measurements for that stage” with the idea that the big gazebo at the park could “fit someone as big as the Philharmonic,” Lightfoot said.

More than 10 years ago she officially kicked off the concert series, deciding to focus on Friday nights and local acts, she said.

“I decided there had to be one local person who was in the Leo (school district) attendance area,” Lightfoot said.

The concerts are free, though Lightfoot provides a donation jar to help the bands cover their expenses, she said.

“People are usually pretty generous,” Lightfoot said.

“We try to hit as many Fridays as we can in June, July and May,” she said, adding there aren’t concerts the weekend of the Freedom Festival and sometimes a local band can’t be booked every Friday.

The Leo High School band opens the season in May, and the Summit City Singers have come back for the past several years, Lightfoot said.

“People really enjoy it,” she said. “It’s 7:30, it’s still sunny out. Kids are playing in the splash pads, teens and college kids are out playing volleyball. People are walking the trails and walking their dogs, so there’s a lot going on. … Sometimes a pontoon will come out … and listen in the river.

“(It is) just a beautiful place to come and listen to music on a Friday night to local singers and bands and just sit out in the park and enjoy the park.”

Remaining 2019 Friday Night Concert Series schedule:

July 12: Mojo Rising

July 19: Isaiah’s Vision

July 26: Dan Heath

Cinderella will sing and interact with guests at the Aug. 23 Georgetown Fridays concert at Georgetown Square. (Contributed)

Georgetown Fridays at Georgetown Square

Now in its eighth year, the Georgetown Fridays concert series started as a way to celebrate the neighborhoods that surround the shopping center.

“There was a group of merchants and we were trying to brainstorm different things that would give back to the community and that people would enjoy,” said Maureen Partee, who coordinates Georgetown’s promotions.

The concerts take place on the fourth Friday of June, July and August from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on a stage set up between the Georgetown library, Biggby Coffee and Riegel’s Pipe and Tobacco, Partee said.

“The concerts are 100% free because of the generosity of our Georgetown merchants … plus the generous donations of others help make this possible,” Partee said, adding the series also receives sponsorships from Parkview Health, Three Rivers Federal Credit Union and Heritage Park.

In addition to live bands the concert series offers other entertainment as well, which changes year to year.

“We’ve had dancers, we’ve had local bands, we’ve had local civic theater, car shows,” Partee said. “This year we’re doing more family-friendly events.”

In July, Icey Queen and a paw hero will be available to visit with children and take pictures. The princess will sing favorites like “Let It Go,” “Under the Sea” and “A Whole New World” during intermission.

During the August event Cinderella and Spidey-Guy will make a similar appearance, with Cinderella taking the stage as well.

Food and beverages are also available for purchase from the variety of area restaurants in Georgetown Square.

Partee said the concerts usually draw a good crowd, around 1,000 people. She encouraged people to bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.

“Georgetown is surrounded for five miles by just neighborhoods so there are people who come up on bikes, who come up carrying their chairs, so it’s just really a neighborhood event,” she said.

Remaining 2019 Georgetown Fridays schedule:

July 26: The Junk Yard Band

Aug. 23: The Hubie Ashcraft Band

Other popular outdoor concert series

But wait there’s more! Fort Wayne and the surrounding area is home to even more outdoor concerts in the summer, including:

Friday Nites Live at Jefferson Pointe

6:30-8:30 p.m. Free.

Remaining schedule:

July 5: The APQ Harmonic

July 12: Brother

July 19: Fort Wayne Funk Orchestra

July 26: reGeneration X

Aug. 2: Jen & The Foggy Creek Band

Aug. 9: Unlikely Alibi

Aug. 16: Todd Harrold Band

Aug. 23: Ty Causey

Aug. 30: Good Night Gracie

Botanical Roots Outdoor Concert Series at the Foellinger-Friemann Botanical Conservatory

8:30-11 p.m. $6 ages 13 and older; age 12 and younger free.


July 26: C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot, Louisiana Band

Aug. 2: Nashville Crush

Aug. 9: TBA

Aug. 16: Zion Lion

Aug. 23: Morry Sochat & the Special 20s

Aug. 30: TBA

Rock the Plaza at the Allen County Public Library

6 p.m. Free.

Remaining schedule:

July 6: PlumDingo, Basketcase, Three Cities, Exterminate All Rational Thought

July 13: Big Jaw, Chilly Addams, Daily Driver, Country Heart

July 20: APQ Harmonic, Phil’s Family Lizard, Sunny Taylor Band, Moser Woods

July 27: Bending Mercury, Craig Guy, the Humanity, Walkin Papers

Aug. 3: 906 Band, Susan Mae & the New Yesterday, Kerosec, Jon Durnell Band

Aug. 10: Mojo Rising, Insta Gators, Bonsai, Joey O Band

Aug. 17: Bad Hombres, Brian Lemert, Damon Mitchell, URB

Aug. 24: OLC, Paul Stephens, Secret Mezzanine, Pop N Fresh

Lunch on the Square at Freimann Square

11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Free.

Remaining schedule:

July 11: Joe Justice

July 18: Todd Harrold Duo

July 25: Blue Pluto

Aug. 1: Sunny Taylor

Aug. 8: Will Certain

Aug. 15: Jen & The Foggy Creek Band

Aug. 22: Shelly Dixon & Jeff McRae

Aug. 29: Damon Mitchell

Two-EE’s Winery Uncorked

7:30-9:30 p.m. Free.

Remaining schedule:

July 5: Lindsay Hoops with Big Apple Pizza, Head 2 Hock food trucks

July 12: Preachervan with Affine, Ziffles Zip n Go food trucks

July 13: India Ramey with JB’s Cuisine Machine, Sol Kitchen food trucks

July 19: Brooks Hubbard Band with Affine, Sol Kitchen food trucks

July 20: Blue Pluto with Bravas, Head 2 Hock food trucks

July 26: On the Sun with Affine, Fork & Fiddle food trucks

July 27: Tommy Saul Band with Sol Kitchen, Ziffles Zip N Go food trucks

Aug. 2: Jon Durnell with Affine, Sol Kitchen food trucks

Aug. 3: Maria Carrelli Band with Head 2 Hock, JB’s Cuisine Machine food trucks