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Be entertained in city's living room

Enjoy concerts — and theater — at Central Park this summer. The Concerts in the Park series kicks off Saturday with contemporary jazz group Bomba de Luz. (Republican Eagle file photo)

From blues to jazz to Shakespeare, this year’s Concerts in the Park offer something for just about everyone — all for little or no money.

“We work really hard to have a good selection and variety,” said Arlene Roth of the Red Wing Arts Association.

RWAA’s Concerts in the Park kick off Saturday, starting with contemporary jazz group Bomba de Luz. Other local and regional performers round out the schedule, along with events such as the Rolling River Music Festival and a Fourth of July performance by the Sheldon Brass Band.

There also will be Shakespeare in the Park this year, with performers putting on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” July 23.

“It’s a troupe that’s used to playing outside,” Roth said, and “the audience will be sort of incorporated in the play.”

The concerts have been going on for years, and Roth said they continue to be popular.

“We manage to bring in the kind of music that audiences enjoy,” she said. The arts association starts to get calls over the winter wondering about acts for the summer concerts.

The association is responsible for organizing the concert series, including booking musicians. Local businesses sponsor the events to help cover costs, and a free-will donation from audience members also is accepted at the concerts. But if people can’t afford to make a donation, they still can attend and do something they might not normally get to do, Roth noted.

“You can come to do something special for yourself or with your kids,” she said. And everyone can enjoy some time outdoors and with neighbors and friends while listening to good music and watching the acts, she added.

“The park itself and the band shell are just a beautiful sight,” she said. “It’s really pleasant sitting there.”

The lineup for this year’s Concerts in the Park includes:

•Saturday June 14, 7 p.m., Bomba de Luz (contemporary jazz)

•Wednesday June 18, 7 p.m., Universal Music Center students (variety)

•Wednesday June 25, 7 p.m., Back Channel Blues (blues)

•Saturday June 28, 5 p.m., Rolling River Music Festival

•Wednesday July 2, 7 p.m., Sawtooth Bluegrass (bluegrass)

•Friday July 4, 7 p.m., Sheldon Brass Band (band)

•Wednesday July 9, 7 p.m., Generation II (big band)

•Wednesday July 16, 7 p.m., Patchouli (folk)

•Wednesday July 23, 7 p.m., Shakespeare in the Park (theater)

•Wednesday July 30, 7 p.m., Davina and the Vagabonds (New Orleans blues and jazz)

•Wednesday Aug. 6, 7 p.m., Wille B Blues (blues)

Information is available online at or at the RWAA’s office in the depot on Levee Street.

Free to enjoy … Concerts in the Park 2014

What: Music, theater

Where: Central Park, Red Wing

When: Throughout summer, usually 7 p.m. Wednesdays

Splurge: Make a donation for attending; buy food from area restaurants and have a picnic

More info: 

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

(651) 459-4629