Concert in the Park is making its return to MacLean Park July 24, although there’s going to be a slight change in format.
Instead of hosting a one-hour musical performance at noon every week throughout the summer, this year’s organizers will be putting on a trio of free three-hour shows in the evening.
Wednesday’s inaugural event will showcase the talents of Brendan Rhodes and The Average Joes rock band from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., while also leaving an hour for open mic performances.
According to Tracey “Smitty” Smith, owner of Music Makers Productions and bass guitarist for the Average Joes, this scheduling change was done for two reasons.
For one, he said an evening show should give Thompsonites more time to enjoy the live music from local artists, since past lunch-time performances really cut into people’s busy work schedules.
Smith also said that this move was done for financial purposes, since the City of Thompson has significantly less money to spend on recreational activities compared to previous years.
“Our company decided that, because the City needed to cut the budget in half, that we would contribute and keep this alive,” said Smith. “Music Makers Productions is sponsoring this, so we’ve donated part of our fees to keep it going.”
Although Smith couldn’t confirm the official line-up for the two remaining Concert in the Park shows, he said that the duo of Jennifer Nyhof and Kory Wickdahl (Unstrung Heroes) will probably make an appearance.
Coupled with the fact that food trucks will be on hand to provide refreshments, Smith said this year’s new format is the perfect jumping on point for someone who’s never taken part in the Concert in the Park experience before.
“If anybody’s never been to it, now’s the time to go,” he said. “It’s time to support your community and be part of Thompson.