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NEW BREMEN — Variety is what area residents will find in the lineup for the Golden Triangle Summer Concert Series this year, as free musical entertainment returns this weekend.
“It’s a really good mix this year, we’ve tried to spread the variety of the music out a little bit and to branch out a little bit to try to appeal to a wider audience,” Southwestern Auglaize County Chamber of Commerce Director Scott Frey said.
The lineup is dotted with a few favorites, Frey said, in addition to a handful of new performers.
“We’ve got a couple of the old favorites that people have enjoyed over the years like AC Swing, Appalachian Grass and Walt Schmitmeyer and the Moonlighters,” he said. “But, we wanted to try to change things up a little bit, widen things up, and bring in a couple of different performers.”
The Summer Concert Series kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Crown Pavilion in New Bremen with a group that performed locally several years ago.
“We found Marquis 66, and they happen to be the ones kicking us off this weekend,” Frey said. “They had been here several years ago, and they’re back again. They perform a variety of hits from the 50s through the 80s — bands like Jefferson Airplane, Stevie Wonder, the Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen — so it’s a wide mix of classic rock.”
Another addition to this year’s lineup is a Beatles tribute band.
“I found a dynamite Beatles tribute band called the Sweet Beats,” Frey said.
“The neat thing about them is they’ve got the costumes for the era of the Beatles, original instruments and then they do a two-part show. They’ll do early Beatles music, and then they’ll take a little break and change and come back out and do the later music — it sneaks in both parts of the Beatles’ career.”
He noted that he expects the band, which will perform at 6:30 p.m. July 15 at Crown Pavilion, to draw a larger crowd.
“That should be a fun one,” he said. “The Beatles are enjoyed by folks of all ages. It’s just so good and it’s become so timeless already. I think this band in particular is going to draw a very wide audience.”
Minster will also host a tribute performer.
“Down in Minster, they’ve got a fellow by the name of Matt Snow, and he’s going to do the Frank Sinatra tribute,” Frey said, noting the performance is an addition to Minster’s lineup. “Matt has performed all over the Midwest, he’s been at it since 1971. He makes over 200 appearances a year. He sings a lot of Frank Sinatra numbers.”
Summer Concert Series staples will also perform in Minster.
“Some of the favorites in Minster will be Spittin’ Image — they’re identical twin brothers, and they’ve been in Minster several years,” Frey said. “Swing Era Big Band and they’ve got a really fun Jimmy Buffet tribute, Tom Todd. Mary Knapke has been there several years — it’s jazz and easy 40s listening style music.”
He noted the series also includes performances at the New Knoxville Independence Day Celebration, which this year will feature The Borrowed Time Band and Exploit.
“In New Knoxville, they have some great musicians coming in during the Independence Day weekend,” he said, noting this year’s celebration will be held June 29 and 30.
Frey said the Southwestern Auglaize County Chamber of Commerce promotes the Golden Triangle Summer Concert Series because of the enhancement it brings to the community.
“Part of our mission at the chamber is to help support and enhance the quality of life we enjoy in southwestern Auglaize County,” Frey said. “Helping to promote and assist in putting on these summer concert series events goes right to that part of our mission.”
The performances, he said, draw a few hundred people.
“Each performance typically has between 200 and 300 folks attend depending on the performer,” he said. “It’s a really nice way to spend a summer evening or a Sunday night.”
The concerts provide quality entertainment to area residents, he said.
“It’s neat being in smaller communities that we’re able to attract these types of performers and to be able to provide free entertainment,” Frey said.
The Golden Triangle Summer Concert Series lineup is as follows: Marquis 66 will perform at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Crown Pavilion; Matt Snow will perform at 7 p.m. June 10 at Minster Machine Centennial Park Gazebo; Spittin’ Image will perform at 7 p.m. June 17 at Minster Machine Centennial Park Gazebo; Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass will perform at 6:30 p.m. June 24 at Crown Pavilion; two classic rock bands will perform at the New Knoxville Independence Days on June 29 and June 30 at New Knoxville Community Park; Swing Era Big Band will perform at 7 p.m. July 8 at Minster Machine Centennial Park Gazebo; The Sweet Beats will perform at 6:30 p.m. July 15 at Crown Pavilion; Tom Todd will perform at 7 p.m. July 22 at Minster Machine Centennial Park Gazebo; Walt Schmitmeyer and the Moonlighters will perform at 6:30 p.m. July 29 at Crown Pavilion; AC Swing will perform at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 5 at Crown Pavilion; Mary Knapke will perform at 7 p.m. Aug. 12 at Minster Machine Centennial Park Gazebo; various acts will perform at Bremenfest Aug. 17-19; The BackPorch Swing Band will perform at 7 p.m. Aug. 26 at Minster Machine Centennial Park Gazebo.
For more information about the Golden Triangle Summer Concert Series, visit Auglaize.org.