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June 12, 2013

Summer concerts return to park for 33rd season

By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer

BIRMINGHAM — The time has come, music lovers, to grab a lawn chair, round up the kids and head to Shain Park for another summer full of outdoor concerts in the park.

The city of Birmingham’s annual In the Park summer concert series will return to downtown this Friday, followed by a different music act each Wednesday evening through Aug. 14, with the exception of July 3.

According to Birmingham Director of Public Services Lauren Wood, organizers have put even more effort into putting together a perfect series for families this summer.

“The committee has been working hard to offer another excellent season of In the Park summer concerts,” said Wood in a prepared statement. “We’re featuring a nice variety of bands and music genres from many groups who are new to our concert series.”

Among the selections to take the Shain Park stage are Motown act All Directions; LEGEND The band, playing ’50s and ’60s tunes; and MB2 Entertainment, with current Top 40 hits.

Some highlights of this year’s series will be a special family night July 24 when children’s singer Guy Louis will be on hand to get kids grooving, along with line dancers and face painting. In honor of the annual Woodward Dream Cruise later this summer, the Aug. 14 concert will feature a special Birmingham Cruise Event car preview.

To start things off right, the Birmingham Bloomfield Community Coalition will hold its annual Battle of the Bands competition on Friday, June 14. The contest, sponsored by the group’s Youth Action Board, pits local youth bands against each other to compete for expert recording sessions with Axis Music Academy.

According to Kendall Hitch, a junior at Seaholm High School and co-president of the YAB, the group always enjoys being the inaugural act in the summer concert series. This year, she said, will be all the more memorable since the battle will be dedicated to Seaholm senior Collin Trask, who passed away earlier this year of cancer.

“The Battle of the Bands is a great opportunity for teens to do something fun together without worrying about drugs and alcohol. We want to promote fun for teens in our community with the theme of positive influences in life,” said Hitch in a prepared statement. “This year, we wanted to pick a person to honor, and I think Collin Trask is the perfect example for the teens of Birmingham. He is someone who lived his life with a positive purpose and left his influence on the entire community.”

There is no cost for the In the Park summer concert series. Shows start at 7 p.m., and guests are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs and picnic spreads.

For more information, including a list of performers, visit www.bhamgov.org/summerconcerts or call (248) 530-1650.

Shain Park is located at Merrill and Bates streets in downtown Birmingham.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at tesshaki@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1095.