Music returns to Lyons
Five more concerts scheduled for Veterans Park
By Steve Metsch
A big crowd was on hand Wednesday night to see Strung Out, the third in a series of Wednesday night performances for the Music in the Park concert series at Veterans Park in Lyons.
The concert series is back after being away for nearly two years because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was canceled last summer.
Now, with more people getting COVID-19 vaccinations, the number of cases dropping and the state re-opened to large public gatherings, the concert series is back.
Bands play from 6 to 9 p.m. for eight straight Wednesdays in the pavilion in the park, 4100 Lawndale Avenue, just north of the village hall.
Ted Spanink (left) and Tom Culver of Strung Out played many rock hits from the 1970s to a big crowd in Lyons’ Veterans Park on July 21. The band has been together since 2012, Spanink said. Photo by Steve Metsch.
Director of Parks and Recreation Ted Tala is thrilled to bring back the tunes.
“So many times last year, I felt bad for the families we always see, the kids we always see, the senior citizens we always see dancing in the pavilion,” Tala said.
“To be able to put this on eight weeks in a row, to grow and grow in popularity and have our best year (in 2019) and then stop, it was hard on everybody,” Tala said.
When the village learned earlier this year that it was okay to present live music again, Tala got busy contacting entertainers.
“It’s a diverse lineup,” Tala said after Tuesday night’s village board meeting. “The mayor and I put our heads together. We wanted to get some sort of Latin flair in there, so we have a flamenco band coming in.”
That show is set for July 28 and a big crowd is expected, Tala said.
“Dave Weld & The Imperial Flames, we have to honor the blues,” Tala said. “Obviously, Blues Fest was a great success (in Lyons) a couple years ago. This band comes highly recommended.”
There is a slight change.
While the village will provide free water, Mayor Christopher Getty said, it will no longer offer free food.
However, vendors will be brought in each week to sell food at reduced prices.
Like Tala, Getty is excited about the concert series returning.
“I think it’s phenomenal,” the mayor said. “The main reason it’s phenomenal is the residents have asking for it, requesting it, looking forward to it.”
“We get a huge crowd every Wednesday,” Getty said. “It’s just bringing the community together and having fun.”
Getty and Tala suggest bringing chairs. You can bring your own food and beverages.
Getty said the village may erect a larger stage for the last two concerts. He and Tala are hoping to sign a second band for Aug 18.
July 28: Chicago Artists Salsa Ensemble, salsa, flamenco and Cuban jazz.
Aug. 4: Zorila, American indie rock
Aug. 11: 51 Lincoln, classic rock, blues, R&B and soul.
Aug. 18: Dave Weld & The Imperial Flames, Chicago blues.
Aug. 25: The Jolly Ringwalds, hits from the ‘80s and ‘90s.