It has been an especially cold winter but fear not, the season for outdoor local concerts is just a few short months away. Spring arrives and ushers in with the warm weather quite a lineup of shows scheduled into September at venues from Barnesville to the Waterfront, music will fill the Valley.
Many of these outdoor concerts are free entertainment. Many area residents pack a picnic dinner and head out to Oglebay, the Heritage Port, Epworth Center, St, Clairsville or Barnesville for an evening of fun and entertainment.
The city of Wheeling is gearing up for another summer full of events, last year there were 50 free musical shows at Heritage Port and other parks across the Ohio River. Waterfront Wednesdays concerts kick off in June and are held at 7 p.m. at Heritage Port. Toe Tappin' Tuesdays concerts also begin in June 1and are held the second and fourth Tuesdays at Garden Park in Warwood. Toe Tappin' Tuesdays Too also are slated for this summer and are held the first and third Tuesdays at Wheeling Park's amphitheater.
T-L Photo/MIKE PALMER
Jason Thomas performs at the 2013 Jamboree in the Hills concert event.
Oglebay also hosts outdoor concerts, which take place during the summer months called the Summer Sunday Series. The concerts are presented by The Elizabeth Stifel Kline Foundation. All performances are held at the Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Like the other venues, Oglebay boasts a wide variety of bands from rock to jazz to bluegrass to tribute bands.
In addition the Wheeling Symphony offered three free outdoor events in 2013 and we can look forward to more as their 84th season kicks off in May.
Barnesville hosts the Showcase Summer Series featuring local and national talent at the Barnesville Memorial Park Amphitheater.
St. Clairsville is home to the summer concert series at the new amphitheater behind the football field. Kevin Barr and his staff at the St. Clairsville Recreation Department do a fine job of showcasing local talent. The Summer Concert Series started in 2005 as a small gathering of local bands and some concessions and has since grown bigger every year.
Country music fans can enjoy two local events in the hills. Bluegrass in the Hills Festival will hold concerts three weekends in 2014.. June 12-14, July 10-12 and July 30 - Aug 2.
Jamboree in the Hills, also known as the "Super Bowl of Country Music," is an amazing 4-day country music festival held every July in Belmont, Ohio. The king of local outdoor concerts will take place July 17-20 this year.
The Heritage Music Blues Fest is a valley favorite in early August. Belmont and Epworth feature concerts throughout the summer in addition to their Chautauqua Days celebration in July.
Just upriver, Thursdays in summer bring hundreds of people to the beautiful Berkman Amphitheater in downtown Steubenville for an evening of free music. Overlooking the Ohio River, the venue provides an assortment of family-friendly musical styles to please all ages. Visitors pack a picnic basket or blanket, and enjoy a few hours of high quality outdoor entertainment at the Fort's Summer Concert Series.
If you add in all the festivals and county fairs it is apparent that the valley not only can attract national talent but is is home town proud and relishes in showcasing their local talent as well.
Each year more local communities add their names to the list of summer entertainment venues and 2104 will not be an exception. The Times leader Ticket tab publishes each Thursday and is the perfect way to keep up to date on all of the entertainment news.
Palmer may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.