Riverside Park in Downtown Presque Isle will once again be filled with music on Sunday afternoons this summer as the City of Presque Isle, the Presque Isle Downtown Revitalization Committee and the University of Maine at Presque Isle host the Third Annual "Music in the Park" Series.
This year's concerts will be held on Sunday, July 11, 18, 25 and August 8, 2010.The free concert series, which attracted average crowd sizes of about 200 people per show last year, will include four shows this summer, ranging from Acadian music to African drumming. Each Sunday afternoon performance will feature an opening act and a main act.
This year's big-name acts are slated to include Boreal Tordu, the much-acclaimed Acadian fiddling group; the Justin and Tyler Wood Trio, composed of New York City based jazz artists with Maine roots; the Mallett Brothers Band, an alternative country outfit; and Koliba!, a traditional African drumming and dancing group. For more information about these performers, visit www.artsaroostook.org.
Each Sunday performance kicks off with an opening act by local singers and musicians, giving the community a chance to hear some of the region's finest up and coming local talent.
The concerts this year will run from 1-4 p.m. Food vendors will be on site offering snacks and drinks and people are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets with them to enjoy a relaxing Sunday afternoon at the park.
If weather is unfavorable, the concerts will be held at the University of Maine at Presque Isle's Campus Center. Even if there is rain, concert-goers are encouraged to bring their lawn-chairs and blankets to the indoor show, and show their support for the musicians who work hard and travel far to entertain and share their artistry.
Event coordinator Carol Ayoob said the Music in the Park Series has received major support from several area businesses and organizations. So far, major sponsors include the University of Maine at Presque Isle, MMG Insurance, and Dr. Edward Laga. Several small business owners and individuals also have given contributions to make this year's concerts a success.
Citadel Broadcasting has offered again this year to promote performances throughout the series on all three of its radio stations. Interviews with musicians will be done the week before they are featured to perform.
In 2008, the Music in the Park series was offered for the first time thanks in great part to a $7,500 grant from the Maine Arts Commission. Local donations and sponsorships helped to cover the costs of the $10,000 series, which featured six consecutive Sunday afternoons of music. Since then, especially because of a strong community desire to see the series return, funding has been raised through donations and sponsorships so the event can continue.
"Even though economic times are tight, the people and businesses of Presque Isle have really pulled together to once again make this concert series happen," Ayoob said. "We're almost halfway to our fundraising goal, but we still need more donations in order to ensure that all four performances are able to happen. Still, I'm confident that with the excellent support this community is known for we'll be able to present the region with another summer full of great music."
If you would like to be a Music in the Park sponsor or make a contribution toward the concerts, which are free, please call Carol Ayoob at 768-5903. You may also mail a check, designated for "Music in the Park," directly to Patty Jandreau, PI Parks and Rec Department, 270 Main St., Presque Isle, ME 04769.