Bring blankets or beach towels, chairs or just hang out on the grass Tuesdays in downtown Rockford. The Huntington Bank Rogue River Blues series begins this Tuesday, June 9.
The free concerts take place at Garden Club Park near the dam on the banks of the Rogue River and run from 7 to 9 p.m. each Tuesday through August 11.
In its seventh year this season, the concerts draw thousands and have been popular since song one.
Paul Chimienti, office manager of the Rockford Huntington Bank, said his business was looking for something wonderful to sponsor in the Rockford community. They chose the Blues concerts because they are enjoyed by so many.
In addition to great free blues music by live, professional bands, the concerts have giveaways such as t-shirts, balloons and more.
“We did this as a commitment to be a community business and it’s a winner,” said Chimienti. “The people who enjoy it are all ages, from four to 84 or more. It’s in a beautiful setting, it’s family-friendly and it’s safe. There are never any incidents.”
The series starts with favorite The Weezil Malone Band. Other popular bands scheduled by organizer Steve Jazwiec, who began the series and is known for his “Blues Brothers” look, are Root Doctor, James Reeser and the Backseat Drivers, Harper, the Steve Hilger Blues Band and more.
This is an Rockford Arts Commission event, one of many musical events that are free and for public enjoyment.