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Tuesdays in the Park set to begin

Some benches will be set up for concert-goers, but people are encouraged to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs as well. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham

As the warm breezes begin blowing in, the sounds of music will soon be heard floating from the Detroit Lakes City Park.

Tuesdays in the Park has been a festive way for locals to kick back and enjoy the easy-going atmosphere of summer at the lakes, and on June 3, that tradition continues.

The live musical entertainment sets up every Tuesday underneath the bandshell next to the Pavilion with shows starting at 7 p.m.

“It adds a nice energy to the park, and it’s another attraction that our town offers,” said Amy Stearns, executive director of the Holmes Theatre, which hosts Tuesdays in the Park.

From concert bands to jazz to folk singers, rock and beach music — nearly every genre of music is covered throughout the 13 Tuesdays of summer.

“There are some old favorites back, as well as some new things,” said Stearns. “New this year is we have a really cool band with a partnership with the Northern Lights Library Network who are doing poetry and jazz in the park with poet Mark Vinz and a jazz trio from Fargo-Moorhead.”

Local talent is selected from around the region for these Tuesdays in the Park and was in such demand by musicians wanting to play the venue that summer 2014 was booked up last October.

The events are free but feature a free-will donation that is split between the musicians and the event’s promotions.

“And it’s for people of all ages,” said Stearns, who says that while there are some park benches set up, people are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs to sit on.

Depending on the weather, crowds that gather for Tuesdays in the Park can vary from 75 to 350.

Stearns says they’ve rarely gotten rained out, but if they do, they simply move the party inside the Pavilion.

“And what’s nice about this is that it’s not formal,” said Stearns. “It’s not like you have to arrive at 7 and stay for the whole thing; you can come when you want, listen for 10, 15 minutes and go if you want.”

Stearns says musicians are asked to play for at least one hour, but sometimes they end up playing for much longer than that if the night is good and the crowd stays.

Like it has been for several years, the Tuesdays in the Park series will both kick off and end with the Lakes Area Community Concert Band on June 3 and Aug. 26.

On June 10, Jazz & Poetry in the Park takes the stage.

June 17 is folk singer and guitarist Rhoda Habedank, who performs with stories and humor.    June 24 is Trio Con Brio, a Scandinavian group from Norway, sponsored by the Sons of Norway.

July 1 is Dennis Craswell, who plays beach music and songs from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

July 8 is Detroit Lakes Police Chief, guitar player and singer Tim Eggebraaten, who has proven a big crowd pleaser at his events.

On July 15, Doc & the Scrubs take the stage with their big band music.

On July 22, Shari Breznay brings her talents for performing folk songs while kicking out some cover songs as well.

Mark Fogleson keeps that folk song-style going on July 29 as he sings the songs many people know and love.

When the weather begins to really heat up in August, the Caribbean-style music begins as the Purple Steel Drum Band hits the stage Aug. 5.

Aug. 12, the Ulen Centennial Band comes marching in, followed by another performance by Doc & the Scrubs on Aug. 19.

The summer begins wrapping up with the Lakes Area Community Concert Band performing for the last Tuesdays in the Park on Aug. 26.

The picnic

Nobody needs to listen to all this music on an empty stomach.

Volunteers for Habitat for Humanity are once again putting on picnics at the shelter beginning roughly an hour preceding the concerts.

The picnics, which are put on by volunteers, have a $5 suggested donation per plate.

“We haven’t turned anybody away, but we do it for the benefit of Habitat,” said Roger Lee, who helps coordinate the picnics.

Food consists of all-beef hamburgers, bratwurst, potato salad, baked beans and a beverage.

“And the burgers and brats are grilled fresh right there,” said Lee. “You sometimes even have to wait a few minutes while yours cooks.”

Lee says the picnics averaged nearly 150 people per Tuesday last year, with about 100 of those being “regulars” that came every Tuesday.

Lee says having the concerts and the picnics together make for a good, strong partnership.

“It’s a win-win,” said Lee. “It’s a win for us to have the music second and a win for the music to have us first. We draw for they; they draw for us, and the real winner is Habitat.”

Lee says the picnics raised about $6,000 for Habitat for Humanity last year.

For more information on how to volunteer working the picnics, call Roger Lee at 847-7324.