Outdoor summer concert season heats up

The audience listens to music on the Lemont Village Green during the concert series in 2012.
The audience listens to music on the Lemont Village Green during the concert series in 2012. CDT file photo

Chirping crickets, buzzing bees and other sounds of nature will have a little competition this summer.

A veritable picnic basket of free outdoor concerts will bring an eclectic collection of bands and musicians to outdoor venues throughout the region.

“When it’s nice weather people want to get out,” said JoAnn Knupp, committee chairwoman of Summer Sounds from the Gazebo in Talleyrand Park.

Sponsored by the Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association, Summer Sounds will open up the Talleyrand Park gazebo to folk, rock, pop and jazz artists at 7 p.m. every Sunday from June 14 through August 16.

A Bellefonte tradition since 1981, this year’s lineup will feature highlights like the Cliff Turner and the Afterburners, the Keystone Society of Swing and the Repasz Band of Williamsport, the oldest community band in the country.

Knupp said the park itself has been a major draw over the years, with each concert averaging almost 100 people.

“It’s just someplace to go after being stuck inside in the winter,” Knupp said.

Fortunately, the great outdoors is a big place.

Cara Park in Catawissa, Columbia County, will host the Summer of Tribute Bands, featuring four weeks of classic songs by artists such as Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Rolling Stones and Johnny Cash and June Carter.

“Tribute bands seem to bring more people to the event,” Roger Nuss, borough manager said.

Catawissa Borough Parks and Recreation organized the event, which will begin at 7 p.m. every Thursday evening from June 25 through July 16 and feature a variety of vendors, including Rita’s Italian Ice.

Food will also play an important role in Concerts on the Village Green for 2015, a music series sponsored by the Lemont Village Association.

Picknickers are invited to spend Friday nights on the Lemont Village Green listening to bluegrass, folk, rock and blues bands from 7:30 to 9 p.m. beginning June 5. Those who arrive without dinner can purchase a meal from Food for Thought Food Truck and Catering.

The talent assembled on stage will include the Tussey Mountain Moonshiners, The Briggadiers and Robin Yukiko.

Musically, the options don’t end there.

South Hills School of Business and Technology will host its 26th annual Music Picnic Series on the north lawn of the State College campus every Sunday at 6 p.m. Performances will begin on June 7 and end Aug. 30.

Each night will bring a slightly different flavor to the proceedings, from the barbershop harmony of Sweet Adelines to the polkas and waltzes of The Little German Band.

Picnic baskets are welcome, but a snack bar featuring hot dogs, lemonade and other staples will fill in any missing links.

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