La PORTE — The La Porte City Band and Junior and the Igniters will light up Fox Park on June 6 and 7, kicking off a dynamic Arts in the Park concert season.
At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, the City Band, under direction of Charles Steck, will feature a Suite from Band of Brothers to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
At 6 p.m. on Thursday, The Singing Company’s adult and children’s choirs will perform, directed by Matt Nelson. Drew Oss will sing The National Anthem, and La Porte County Poet Laureate Scott Simerlein will read poetry both evenings.
At 7 p.m. Thursday, rockabilly blues favorites Junior and the Igniters take the stage. Formed in 1995, members include Junior Combs on lead guitar and vocals, Jesse Lee Scutchfield on lead vocals and stand-up bass, and Mike McCalment on drums. The group specializes in “American Roots” music, and its latest CD, “Hot Rod Girl”, features nine original songs jamming with roots, rockabilly and blues.
Sponsor for the Junior and the Igniters concert is The Bethany Foundation. They join 2019 Season Sponsor, the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte.
Concessions for the season will include I-Street Meats hot dogs, Hero’s Hotdog, tacos and quesadillas from Tacos My Fren’, as well as chips, popcorn, homemade cookies, ice cream treats and drinks. Proceeds from the concessions are a critical support of the free annual series.
Entering its 19th season, the free concert series is held Wednesday and Thursday evenings at Fox Park’s Dennis Smith Amphitheater with genres including rock, pop, jazz, blues, country, big band, reggae and Christian. The experience is enhanced by the wraparound of exhibits by local artists and brief poetry presentations.
This year, some brand new bands have been added to the lineup. On Aug. 1, Marrakesh Express will bring a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young Tribute to the stage. They are billed as the world’s only CSNY touring tribute band, reproducing the original, complex songs and challenging layered harmonies.
On July 2, the Indiana Army National Guard Band will provide a patriotic note. In August, Gato and Chesterton native and emerging country star, Jerica Paliga, will entertain country rock fans. Paliga has fronted for Eric Church and released an album, recorded in Nashville.
Returning popular bands and genres include: Aftermath and Midwest Hype – rock; Junior & The Igniters, Jordans & James, and PT & the Cruisers – blues / rock; Me & The Boys and The Tom Milo Big Band – Jazz / big band; People & Songs and the Agape Worship Band – Christian; Indika – reggae; Cripple Creek and Middle of the Road – Classic Rock, etc. The full band schedule is available online at www.artsintheparklaporte.com.
Pre-show music featuring many other talented performers begins at 6 p.m. in the park, followed by the concerts at 7. Those offerings include The Singing Company, The Erly Band, The Salt Exchange and Jim Post, in addition to special events like YMCA Zumba, Ebonie Hoops hula hoop artist, La Porte Community Drum Circle, Go Aerial Fitness Yoga, YMCA Zumba, the LPHS Marching Band, and a Trail Creek Dog Show paired with the La Porte County Animal Shelter.
Also, on July 24 will be the Park and Canvas event beginning at 6 p.m. with local artist Dori Huber. Registration includes a $10 donation and participants will enjoy the City Band while Dori leads them stroke by stroke in creating their own work of art.
Arts in the Park 2019 sponsors include: Season Sponsor the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte; Diamond Concert sponsor the Unity Foundation of La Porte County; Platinum level sponsors 1st Source Bank, Pete and Charlene Kesling, The Bethany Foundation and Wolf Family Dentistry, P.C.
Gold concert sponsors are Centier Bank, Century 21, Edward Jones, Friends of the La Porte Library, General Insurance Services, Go Aerial Fitness, Horizon Bank, Kabelin Ace Hardware, Tom & Fran Milo, Barbara C. Moore, MTM Realty Group, Hester Muller, NIPSCO, Parkison and Hinton, Inc., Roxy Music, and Carl & Marilyn Savich.