Utica hosts a music event every Friday for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Utica hosts a music event every Friday for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Utica’s Weekend Unwind music festival to continue into October

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published July 27, 2020


UTICA — If you’re looking for a safe and fun evening out, Utica’s Weekend Unwind offers the public a safe way to get out of the house and enjoy some music in the park by the river.

The free family-friendly event is in its third year and takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. Fridays until Oct. 9 at Jacqueline K. Noonan Riverwalk Park/Memorial Park, 7530 Auburn Road, next to the Utica Public Library in downtown Utica.

Utica Mayor Thom Dionne said that the event has been quite popular over the years and this year offers a rare entertainment option for people.

“The Weekend Unwind outdoor concerts have been a very successful form of responsible entertainment for our residents and friends within the community. It’s allowing people to have an entertainment venue throughout the summer, where so many other venues and events are closed or canceled,” said Dionne.

Each event features a band that plays music throughout the night while attendees relax and have fun together while safely social distancing.

The next event will be held July 31 and will feature Uc3. They are an acoustic trio based in Sterling Heights that comprises two acoustic guitars and three vocalists. They perform a wide variety of cover songs from the 1970s and later.

Some bands will play twice during the summer. The concert series is sponsored by the Utica Downtown Development Authority.

Gus Calandrino, who is on the Utica City Council and the Utica Downtown Development Authority, said that having the event allows people to get out and enjoy the community together, and many residents are thankful to be able to do so.

“Residents have mentioned to me how thankful they are to be able to get outside their homes and enjoy a nice evening at Memorial Park. The Weekend Unwind concerts provide good local musicians a welcoming audience in a beautiful setting. Due to the governor’s orders, we ask that everyone exercise safe social distancing,” he said.

Nancy Carter, Utica’s deputy city clerk, said she often enjoys the event when she’s able to get out, and it’s a stress reliever for her.

“I honestly enjoy it, though I don’t get out there as often as I would like. It is a chance to relax and enjoy some very talented local acts. Everyone the mayor has lined up has been showcased at other events; one has been on American Idol and another has a single or two released. I love to bring my camping chair and cooler, meet my friends there and just be outside, relax, talk and laugh. It’s a good place to people-watch, also. It’s a serious stress reliever,” she said.

For more information on the event, visit www.cityofutica.org.

Here is the schedule of the remaining events and performers.

• July 24, Bob Montleone
•July 31, Uc3 Band
•Aug. 7, Kenny Spear
•Aug. 14, Mike Tocco
•Aug. 21, dc marx
•Aug. 28 Donovan Andrews
•Sept. 4, Kenny Spear
•Sept. 11, dc marx
•Sept. 18, Nina Sofia
•Sept. 25, TBD
•Oct. 2, Donovan Andrews
•Oct. 9, Bob Montleone