Grab your sunglasses and maybe a blanket or a few lawn chairs, then sit back and enjoy everything from rock ’n’ roll to bluegrass and jazz to country.
(Scroll down for complete schedule of area community concerts)
In Beloit, you can enjoy a break from the workday when the Downtown Beloit Association hosts the Fridays in the Park series from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays. The series will run through Sept. 2 at the First National Bank Plaza.
Blues, bluegrass, jazz and Americana are on the schedule for this summer.
Crystal Cribbs, promotions coordinator for the Downtown Beloit Association, said this year’s Fridays in the Park series will feature some new artists and bands that have performed during previous years. Some of the returning favorites include the Beloit Memorial High School jazz band, Stateline Playboys and Harlan Jefferson.
"There’s many bands we bring back from the past year," Cribbs said. "We do try to bring in some new bands to keep it interesting and different and to help attract new attendees.
"The Beloit Memorial High School jazz band usually starts out the series … so it’s nice to be able to support a local school band."
About 170 people attend each concert.
"The bands have to be family friendly," Cribbs said.
If you can’t make it out around the lunch hour on Fridays, there’s time to enjoy the Music at Harry’s Place series on Friday evenings in Beloit. The Friends of Riverfront present the music series from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays, from June 17 to Aug. 26, (except for Aug. 5) at the Harry C. Moore Pavilion in Riverside Park.
"We have a variety of bands," said Jennifer Kodl, executive director for Friends of Riverfront. "We have blues. We have jazz. We have country and we have some classic rock ’n’ roll favorites that always play."
Some of the returning artists include Harlan Jefferson, Little Vito and the Torpedoes, The Bel-Airs, Dave Potter Trio, Mr. Big Stuff, Cash Box Kings, Gary McAdams Band, The Jimmys and Copper Box.
"We have established relationships and friendships with a lot of the musicians, and they reach out to us and ask if they can come back, and we’re happy to do so and it keeps all of our friends happy as well … " Kodl said. "(Mr. Big Stuff) had announced that they were retiring, but I think they were able to find a lot of replacement musicians for the guys who wanted to retire. Now the band continues, so that’s kind of a fun surprise for everyone."
Kodl said the concerts are well attended.
"Our Music at Harry’s crowds vary but can be between 700 to 1,000 people, so we have a really good turnout," Kodl said. "It’s a wonderful place to be on a Friday evening in the summer.
"The park comes to life with all the activity, and there’s kids and there’s people walking with their dogs. It’s a nice place to come meet with friends and family and relax and just enjoy all that Beloit has to offer on a summer night."
For people who want to get a little kick in their step, Friends of Riverfront also offers the Dancing at Harry’s Place series, which is held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. the second and fourth Mondays in June, July and August at the Harry C. Moore Pavilion. The series gives people an opportunity to learn different styles of dance, including the waltz, two-step, tango, salsa, square dancing and rumba.
"We have people who pick a night or there’s a certain dance they want to learn and there’s people who come for every lesson," Kodl said. "It’s a great time. It’s free dance lessons and a place to come and dance. You don’t have that everywhere."
Friends of Riverfront also will present Movie on the Big Lawn at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at the Jones Pavilion in Riverside Park. This year’s featured movie will be "Rio."
"This year, since it’s around the same time as the Summer Olympics, we thought it would be fun to show ‘Rio,’" Kodl said. "It’s set in the rain forest, but there’s some carnival references and there’s lots of great music and humor.
"With such big crowds and so many kids, we love to show the animated movies. They show really well in the dark. They’re bright and colorful and they’re not too long, so the kids don’t get bored and restless. When they have fun music and things that kids can be involved with, it just makes it right for everyone."
Sounds of summer
Rockton River Market
Wednesdays at Old Settlers Park
June 1, 4 p.m., Trippin’ Tarzan
June 8, 4 p.m, Minimal
June 22, 4 p.m., 3 Good Men
June 29, 4 p.m., Ruffcutz Band
July 6, 4 p.m., Road House Ramblers
July 13, 4 p.m., Harlan Jefferson Band
July 20, 4 p.m., Pablo and the Rythmics
July 27, 4 p.m., Southern Charm
Aug. 3, 4 p.m., The Sensations
Aug. 10, 4 p.m., Kelly Stewart and the Restless Kind
Aug. 17, 4 p.m., Raised on Radio
Aug. 24, 4 p.m., Gary the Band
Aug. 31, 4 p.m., Rollin’ Whiskey
Friends of Riverfront in Beloit
Music at Harry’s Place, Fridays at the Harry C. Moore Pavilion, 1160 South Riverside Drive, Beloit
June 17, 7 p.m. Harlan Jefferson
June 24, 7 p.m., Little Vito and the Torpedoes
July 1, 7 p.m., The Bel-Airs
July 8, 7 p.m., Dave Potter Trio
July 15, 7 p.m., Mr. Big Stuff
July 22, 7 p.m., Cash Box Kings
July 29, 7 p.m. Gary McAdams Band
Aug. 12, 7 p.m., The Jimmys
Aug. 26. 7 p.m., Copper Box
Also on most Mondays, Dancing at Harry’s Place at the Harry C. Moore Pavilion. The spot to learn to swing, cha cha, tango, line dance, waltz and more with free lessons. Open dance follows lessons. Come with or without a partner.
Fridays in the Park, Beloit
Free concert series at First National Bank Plaza downtown
June 3, 11:30 a.m., Late Harvest
June 10, 11:30 a.m., Stateline Playboys
June 17, 11:30 a.m., Gary the Band
June 24, 11:30 a.m., Steve Doiel Trio
July 1, 11:30 a.m., Harlan Jefferson Trio
July 8, 11:30 a.m., Bluegrass Reunion Band
July 15, 11:30 a.m., Brothers Quinn
July 22, 11:30 a.m., Blue Lightening
July 29, 11:30 a.m., Stateline Playboys
Aug. 5, 11:30 a.m., The Lone Canary
Aug. 12, 11:30 a.m., Harlan Jefferson Trio
Aug. 19, 11:30 a.m., Gary the Band
Aug. 26, 11:30 a.m., Jazz Tet
Sept. 2, 11:30 a.m., Sweetland