By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
LINCOLN PARK – What a difference a year makes.
Twelve months ago city officials scrambled to complete – and fund – long-overdue restoration work on the iconic bandshell in Memorial Park, a venue that had once hosted summer concerts but had fallen silent in recent years.
Efforts to revive the stage were inspired by last year’s 50th anniversary tribute to hometown legends The MC5, and sparked by then-intern Giles Tucker, who launched a crowd-sourcing campaign that succeeded in completing the repairs on time. It had been several years since the park and stage hosted weekly summer concerts or other activities, but the summer of 2016 offers a full menu of music and more.
Mayor Thomas Karnes said the restored bandshell was truly a community project, and appropriately is being put to use with a variety of recreation and quality-of-life events.
Following last month’s Electronic Music Festival, parks and recreation officials announced weekly summer concerts, most beginning at 7 p.m. Thursdays, offering tribute bands, rock, a symphony orchestra, country and music for all tastes.
Special events on tap this year include a July 30 MC5 Tribute during Art in the Park weekend, with music including a Beatles tribute band, art displays and other attractions.
For the younger crowd looking for activities during school break, special events include “Summer Time Fun” sessions at the band-shell. Each week beginning June 20 features four days of themed activities starting with “Superheroes Week,” co-sponsored by city heroes from the police and fire departments.
Seven sessions are scheduled including pre-Fourth of July with patriotic games, Kite Week, Art in the Park, Animal Week, Theater Chaos, and Bicycle Week. Enrollment is limited to 50 youngsters per week, and each session is $20 for residents. For information on enrollment call 313-386-1817.
Adult activities include weekly Zumba classes with Kelly Nagy, held through June and July beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and at 9:30 a.m. Saturdays.
For a complete schedule of concerts and other activities go to www.citylp.com of follow the recreation department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LPParksandRecreation.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected])