“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for quite awhile,” Mayor Pat Johnson said of the weekly, family-friendly offerings.
City officials weren’t sure what to expect when they decided to venture into outdoor concerts, but Johnson is excited by the initial schedule. The credit, she said, goes to Ellen Boyd, the city’s recreational services director, who tackled the concert series.
Concerts are slated for 6 to 7:30 p.m. every Thursday, beginning July 21 and wrapping up Aug. 25. A portable stage will be set up on the south side of the Buckley Youth Center and concert-goers will be invited to fill a grassy area with blankets or lawn chairs.
The concert series shapes up like this:
• July 21 – The Mark Mauldin Band offers a mix of country, rock, blues and jazz, playing both standards and original tunes.
• July 28 – The Maile Mae Band provides country fare, having opened in recent years for a handful of Nashville recording artists.
• Aug. 4 – Favorite Mistake will offer an eclectic mix of classic rock, blues and cover songs.
• Aug. 11 – The Pan Leggo Steelband has been around since 1994, formed by members of the Oberlin Steel Orchestra.
• Aug. 18 – Eric Ode, a national award-winning singer/songwriter is a kid-friendly favorite.
• Aug. 25 – The season closes with Coco Loco, a high-energy band featuring arrangements of classics from Cuba, Brazil, Columbia and Mexico, while sometimes mixing in a bit of British or American pop.
Taking a leap into the unknown, the city allocated $20,000 for the summer music series. Johnson noted that the budget will be far less. The finances are helped by a local business, Complete Access, that signed on as a corporate sponsor.
Boyd is now looking for vendors to set up around the perimeter of the concert area, primarily seeking food providers and artists. An application can be found by visiting www.cityofbuckley.com/musicinthepark and clicking on the “vendor application” link.