Sounds from the riverfront

Summer concerts in ’Burg are set to get hot

By Gary Spencer

Photo: Weird Science will perform on May 16 at Riverfront Park; photo: Robert Leifheit

There’s something to be said about the charm of taking in live music somewhere away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and even more can be said about it happening where you can take in the warmth and beauty of the great outdoors during the warmest months of the year. There are several such spots in the Miami Valley region that afford the opportunity to take in both the outdoors and the music. The city of Miamisburg can certainly make its own case as to why their municipality is the ideal place for people who want to enjoy a  live music experience.

First, there’s Riverfront Park, the location of the summer concerts in Miamisburg, right at the intersection of Central and Miami Avenues. It’s a state-of-the-art facility with modern lights and sound, perfect for the outdoors. The stage set-up is similar to the band shell found at Island Park in North Dayton, with plenty of room to spread out on blankets, towels or folding chairs to make it a relaxing, yet engaging, affair. Plus, there are concessions aplenty during the show. According to Kimberly Winter, recreation superintendent for the City of Miamisburg, there are plenty of positive attributes that go along with having live music at Riverfront Park.

“Riverfront Park offers a relaxed atmosphere for performers, as well as the attendees,” Winter said. “It is not uncommon to find families enjoying the concerts while passing the football with their children, enjoying a picnic meal or throwing Frisbee with others. There is ample parking around the park area, and shade available. The park is within walking distance to many downtown establishments, including food and retail operations.”

As for the concerts, Miamisburg has a variety of entertainment options suitable for people of all ages. A good place to start is the newest addition to the City of Miamisburg’s summer concerts – “Star City Hump Day Happenings” which began occurring on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. back in 2012. According to Winter, the Hump Day concept has been a winner for both the city and its constituents.

“We wanted to expand community offerings through the work week,” Winter explained. “We scheduled the concerts to occur after the traditional meal time hour, encouraging people to visit a downtown Miamisburg establishment for dinner prior to the show. We feel the concerts have been successful with crowds of 600+ in attendance when we have favorable weather.”

Cover bands seem to be the trend on Wednesdays, as this year’s lineup features local rock cover band The Menus on June 18, dance/show band The Sensations on July 16 and Dayton’s own Motown and old school tribute group Touch, who were recently a finalist on NBC’s “The Winner Is,” rounding out the Hump Day series on Aug. 13. This basic recipe for success has become somewhat of a blueprint when putting together a concert season that pleases both adults and youngsters alike.

“We try to mix traditional favorites with new faces each year,” Winter said. “We look for well-rounded playlists and family friendly lyrics. We have large attendance numbers and we like to keep audiences happy with a little bit for everyone.”

In keeping with the successful trend of family-centric entertainment, the City of Miamisburg is also applying that logic to booking their Sunday Concert Series, which, according to Winter, has been going on there for roughly 40 years. This year’s series has live music every Sunday evening beginning at 7 p.m. and has a full calendar of events starting on June 8 with the “Kings of Kazoo Rock,” The Rejects. Some other notable highlights for Miamisburg’s Sunday Concert Series include The Hathaways on June 29 (Originals and classic rock), The Star City Community Band and Ice Cream Social on July 13, The Ohio State University Alumni Band on July 20, classic rock from White Rabbit on Aug. 17, and The Greasers, who will round out this year’s series with oldies and doo-wop covers on Aug. 24.  And thanks to proud sponsorships and donations from neighboring businesses and organizations, all concerts at Riverfront Park are free to attend, including the “A Taste of Miamisburg” event on Friday, May 16 featuring an ’80s tribute band from Chicago named Weird Science who will be playing songs from the first generation of MTV from 6-9 p.m.

For more information and a complete list of all concerts at Miamisburg’s Riverfront Park, please  call 937.866.8999 or visit PlayMiamisburg.com.

Reach DCP freelance writer Gary Spencer at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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