Sumner hosts several events this summer

Word on the


It’s almost that time of year again when the park outside my office fills up every Friday night with the sound of music and lots of local residents. I love it when July gets here because this type of downtown activity reminds me of a scene right out of Music Man. The gazebo is filled with musical performers and the lawn is lined with picnic blankets, folding canvas chairs and lots of local residents. For those who don’t know it, the Sumner Arts Commission is responsible for booking the July Friday night shows with a diverse array of musical entertainment.

This year Sumner Downtown Association is partnering with the Arts Commission to add local opening acts for the last four concerts. While the concerts start at 6:30 p.m. on Friday evenings, this year the opening acts will start at 6 p.m. so everyone will get an extra half hour of entertainment. And the best part? It’s all free and open to the public.

The 2009 July concert schedule is:

• July 3 – Pat Moss and New Frontier, legendary blues and rock from 1960s and 1970s

• July 10 – Kellee Bradley, acclaimed vocalist and songwriter; opening act: Celtic Maidens

• July 17 – The Diamond Experience, tribute to the music of Neil Diamond; opening act: The Tempest (Ascension Productions)

• July 24 – Show Brazil, versatility and quality of Brazilian music; opening act: Sumner Performing Drum Line

July 31 – Two Scoops combo, rollicking boogie-woogie humor and heart-felt blues; opening act: Grease is the Word (Ascension Productions)

The Celtic Maidens are a local dance group of young ladies that I’ve known since they were born. The Hammermaster girls and their cousins are back in the park to perform traditional Celtic entertainment that is a wonderful mix of music and dance.

Ascension Productions will have casts from two different shows performing. On Juny 17, come get a quick glimpse of this year’s Theatre in the Park presentation of Shakespear’s Tempest as you’ve never seen it before (Theatre in the Park shows are August 15 and 22). Their Grease is the Word act on July 31st showcases the Greasers and Pink Ladies hoppin’ and boppin’ to the songs from Grease.

And on July 24 I can hardly wait to hear the Sumner Performing Drum Line, Sticks and Snares. Local student talent will come together in the park to perform their favorite rhythms and cadences.

Special thanks to our Arts Commission for their dedication to bringing all kinds of music to downtown and to our own local talent for their part in making Sumner a true hometown community.

You’ve heard me say it before, but honestly, these concerts and performances are the perfect example of why people like to spend some time in Sumner.