Downtown Summer Sounds ready to start 20th year

Rob Black

DANVILLE – Downtown Danville Inc. officials are ready for tonight’s start of Summer Sounds concerts downtown.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of concerts.

“We’re definitely excited and ready,” said DDI board president Rob Black.

The free weekly Friday night concerts start tonight at Temple Plaza, at Vermilion and North streets downtown. The concerts run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The first band is Wreckless Whiskey.

The remaining schedule:

• June 1 – Alex Jenkins & The Bombers

• June 8 – James Jones Trio

• June 15 – House of Cards

• June 22 – Sunset Strip

• June 29 – ArtBeat Music Week (partnership with David S. Palmer Arena and artist to be announced separately)

• July 6 – Rock Posse

• July 20 – Mank N Sass

• July 27 – Vinyl Generation

• Aug. 3 – 90's Daughter

• Aug. 10 – Boss Hogg & The Rambling Troubadours

• Aug. 17 – Steve Rodman & Love Sign

• Aug. 24 – Dalton Halls Band.

Black said OSF Healthcare Sacred Heart Medical Center is the title sponsor.

Black said when AMBUCS decided to move their concerts to Turtle Run, DDI officials said they didn’t want anything to change.

“We wanted to have music downtown every Friday night,” he said, adding that DDI officials thought they could do it.

“I think overall the city wanted to see this every Friday also,” Black added.

The city also will be starting First Friday monthly themed activities at the Kresge lot downtown to complement the Summer Sounds concerts and continue throughout the year the first Friday of each month. The June 1 theme is "Game Night." DDI has partnered with Portal Entertainment Group for the downtown concert series.

Black said they also are going to have some different food vendors this year. There will be some of the same and some new food vendors.

“We’ll have an assortment of different food vendors in and out,” he said about different food vendor there for different Fridays. Not every food vendor will be there every week.

“I think we will have a better variety of food choices,” he said.

Black added that the Vermilion River Beer Company, in which he is a business partner with Peter Blackmon and others, “is definitely moving along.” It will be opening downtown on Vermilion Street across from Temple Plaza. He said they’re still waiting for bar equipment to come in and “it will be a little while longer.”

Black said they didn’t want to rush opening, but take their time in getting it to look the way they wanted inside.

Danville Community Improvement Superintendent Steve Lane said they’ve been sprucing up Temple Plaza for summer events.

“We went in and did some maintenance work to the stage,” Lane said, adding that they refinished and painted the stage’s drywall ceiling and painted the trim around the top of the stage’s roof.

“We’ve gone in and cleaned up all the (flower) beds,” he said.

Earlier this week, a group of volunteers, most of whom were city employees, did all the planting of the flowers, Lane said.

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