POLK COUNTY — It’s looking to be an unusually warm summer, and with the bands lined up for summer music, it’s about to get hotter.
Free entertainment is available in Monmouth, Dallas and Independence all summer, starting July 8 with Monmouth’s Music in the Park in Main Street Park. Shows start at 6:30 p.m.
“We love to see people come downtown and have a great time,” said Mark Fancey, Monmouth’s community development manager. “Between the (splash) fountain, volleyball games and music, there was upward of 600 people last year in the park on a Wednesday night.”
Each week, a free raffle allows listeners a chance to win a prize, such as items donated from sponsors or CDs from the band, Fancey said.
This year’s lineup kicks off with local band Joe Shinkle and Highway 99W singing country.
Fancey said he is looking forward to the season, particularly the Carried Away Trio, World’s Finest and Coming Up Threes.
“World’s Finest is an eclectic band,” Fancey said. “They play reggae and bluegrass, almost all of it is acoustic with horns.”
This is the first time Monmouth has sponsored a cover band in the lineup. Ramble On, a Led Zepplin tribute band, will play the park on Aug. 19.
“These are real community events, with businesses involved and people walking down and enjoying music in the park,” Fancey said.
Music in the Park
All shows begin at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8-Aug. 26, at Main Street Park, Monmouth. Music, food, beer and wine garden.
July 8 — Joe Shinkle & 99West (country and western)
July 15 — Hillstomp (blues)
July 22 — Carried Away Trio (jazz and blues)
July 29 — World’s Finest (reggae and bluegrass)
Aug. 5 — Roseland Hunters (New Orleans funk)
Aug. 12 — Student Loan String Band (newgrass)
Aug. 19 — Ramble On (Led Zepplin tribute band)
Aug. 26 — Coming Up Threes (Celtic)
Sounds of Summer
Dallas’ Sounds of Summer will be opening with a bluegrass band and ending with
Dallas tradition Johnny Limbo & the Lugnuts. In between, there’s all the variety you could want from a summer concert series.
“There is not a show I plan on missing,” said series coordinator Chelsea Metcalfe, of the Dallas Area Visitors Center. “They all have a different feel, so I think it will go well.”
Metcalfe rediscovered opening act Roundhouse Band at the Polk County Folklife Festival. Wanting to bring a bluegrass band to the series, she knew it had to be part of Sounds of Summer.
Also new is Bearwater Band, which played Summerfest 2014. They will be playing Thursday night of Summerfest week this year.
Sounds of Summer also will have a new food vendor lineup, with one food truck featured each week. Confirmed vendors are El Pique, Sweet Dreams (corn dogs and funnel cakes), Black Rock BBQ, and JT’s Food Truck (Cuban).
“I’m hoping with the food trucks (serving) by 5:30 or 5:45 p.m., people will come down early, get dinner, grab their seat and stay for the show,” Metcalfe said.
Sounds of Summer
Shows begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays, July 9-Aug. 27, at the Rotary Performing Arts Stage at the corner of Main and Academy streets, Dallas.
July 9 — Roundhouse Band (bluegrass)
July 16 — Oregon Valley Boys (Western swing)
July 23 — Bearwater Band (Rock, Summerfest show)
July 30 — Gil Reynolds & Deep Blue (bluesy rock)
Aug. 6 — Joe Shinkle & 99West (country)
Aug. 13 — Parish Gap (soft rock)
Aug. 20 — Big Money (rock)
Aug. 27 — Johnny Limbo & the Lugnuts (oldies)
River’s Edge Summer Series
At the River’s Edge Summer Series, in Independence Riverview Park and Amphitheater, Thursday night movies and Friday night concerts rage through the hot summer nights.
Before the July 10 opening night, featuring Ty Curtis, city officials will celebrate the amphitheater’s 10th anniversary with a small ceremony and complimentary appetizers, said River’s Edge organizer Alex Trevino. The celebration will take place at about 6:30 p.m., an hour before the concert is scheduled to start.
Ty Curtis, blues, soul and rock ’n’ roll, is a huge favorite, Trevino said.
“It’s going to be one hell of a show,” he noted. “We’ve got a really high-octane lineup this year.”
With more cover bands — including Shoot to Thrill, an AC/DC cover band, and Jukebox Hero, a Foreigner cover band — blues, country and ’80s hits, the music at River’s Edge is sure to please.
“My secret weapon, my surprise show, is Dancehall Days,” Trevino confided. Dancehall Days features twin sisters and will perform for New Year’s Eve in the Crystal Ballroom, he added.
New and improved food vendors, as well as expanded options in the beer and wine area, will make Friday nights in Independence even more spectacular.
“People can expect this year’s concerts to be very energizing,” Trevino said.
River’s Edge Summer Music
Music starts at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays from July 3 through Aug. 28 in Riverview Park and Amphitheater, Independence; $5 suggested donation. Concessions and brewery/wine vendors open at 6 p.m.
July 3 — Appetite for Deception (Guns and Roses tribute)
July 10 — Ty Curtis, 10-year anniversary party (blues)
July 17 — Beth Willis (acoustic rock)
July 24 — Ted Vaughn Blues Band (blues/rock)
July 31— Jukebox Heroes (Foreigner tribute)
Aug. 7 — Dancehall Days
Aug. 14 — Twangshifters (rockabilly)
Aug. 21 — Chance McKinney (industrialized country)
Aug. 28 — Shoot to Thrill (AC/DC tribute)
River’s Edge Movies
Thursday nights in Riverview Park, the amphitheater truly turns into the city’s living room, as hundreds gather on the lawn to watch a movie together.
In July, movies tend to start around 9:30 p.m., whereas in August, they begin closer to 8:30 p.m.
This year, Trevino said movies range from Disney hits to action-adventure.
“I like to throw in a motivational movie,” he said. “This year’s motivational movie is, ‘When the Game Stands Tall.’”
River’s Edge summer movie series wouldn’t be the same without a classic, either. This year, “Sixteen Candles,” rated R, takes that spot on July 23.
Blockbuster hits just out of the theater like “Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” will be shown in August.
Although he said he will have a hard time trying to duplicate the amazing lightning display after one of the movies last year, he does have some tricks up his sleeve.
One evening, Trevino said he will declare a blackout night, with all the lights in the park turned off until the movie begins.
“We’ll hand out 1,000 pieces of neon things (glow-in-dark) and light up the whole amphitheater with neon,” he said.
Movies start at dusk, about 9:30 p.m. in July and 8:30 p.m. in August at Riverview Park and Amphitheater. Movies are free.
July 9 — Maleficent – PG
July 16 — When the Game Stands Tall – PG
July 23 — Sixteen Candles – R
July 30 — Up – PG
Aug. 6 — The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 – PG-13
Aug. 13 — Pacific Rim – PG-13
Aug. 20 — Guardians of the Galaxy – PG-13
Aug. 27 — Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – PG