DANVILLE — Visitors to the 26th annual Arts in the Park Festival on Saturday and Sunday at Lincoln Park will have the opportunity to enjoy some new and different entertainers on stage, as well as some of their favorite performers from years past.
The visual arts booths will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Stage performances begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and noon Sunday.
“The stage entertainment is really one of the highlights of Arts in the Park this year,” said Mike Harmon, local guitarist and vocalist who has performed for many years at this event. He and Greg Green are coordinating the stage events this year and will serve as emcees throughout the two days.
“This year is historically significant in a number of ways,” Harmon added, “and we’re actually taking a walk back in time with at least two of our performances.”
For one, the Illinois Army National Guard’s 144th Army Band will take the stage at 7 p.m. Saturday. Based in Springfield, this band comprises a unique group of soldiers who perform at 35 to 50 events each year all across Illinois.
“Since this year is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, it’s most appropriate that we feature an Army band,” Harmon said.
“This band delighted the audience at last year’s Arts in the Park, which prompted us to invite them again this year,” he added. “They perform statewide, and we’re fortunate to have them in Danville.”
Harmon said one of the purposes of the Army Band is to play music that raises troop morale and promotes esprit de corps.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ United States debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” the Beatles tribute band “The Cavern Beat” will perform from 3-5 p.m. Sunday. They use vintage guitars, amplifiers and authentic Beatles suits in the famous Fab Four style, and critics rate them as one of top Beatles bands in the country.