Ontario Youth Sports has announced the lineup for this summer’s Concerts in the Park series. The bi-weekly concert series begins Tuesday, June 25 at Marshall Park with the DeVault Ridge Band and continues through Aug. 27 with a performance from the Red Ball Jets.
“When we started looking for bands this summer, we wanted to find a little something for everyone,” said Kenn Spencer, of Ontario Youth Sports (OYS), which organizes the events in conjunction with the City of Ontario.
The lineup includes the Acoustic Super Friends on June 25, The Return on July 9, Oolong Curus on July 23 and Departure on Aug. 13. This summer, Spencer said, the organizing team had more bands to choose from than ever before.
“Before we’d have to reach out and really search for groups that wanted to play that venue, but now more and more bands are reaching out to us,” Spencer said. Most concerts bring crowds of 700, but some evenings draw upwards of 1,000 people.
“For us, our parks are a focal point, and this brings more and more people to that venue every year,” Spencer said. All the concerts run from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Marshall Park’s band shell. In case of rain, the concert will be moved to the Ontario High School auditorium, which is new this year.
“Our policy had always been if there’s a rain out, we’ll have it the following Tuesday. But we realized, as we started working with more and more popular bands, their schedule was booked throughout the summer. We couldn’t expect them to be available the following Tuesday,” Spencer said.
Admission to all concerts is free, as the event is sponsored by dozens of local businesses and organizations called community sponsors. “The support comes through them. We have some absolutely amazing community sponsors,” Spencer said.
In addition to the concert series, Ontario Youth Sports announced it plans to bring back its Open Mic Night, movie night and ‘Can you picture Ontario contest?‘ Last year’s inaugural Open Mic Night was a hit, Spencer said. People performed ventriloquy, dance routines, sang songs and more. “We encouraged people to do different things, and I was so impressed the different activities people did,” Spencer said.
Open Mic Night is set to run from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 28. It’s Movie Night in the Park is scheduled for 9 p.m. on Aug. 10 at the band shelter, and Yoga in the Park will be held at 7 p.m. June 20, July 18, Aug. 22 and Sept. 19.
An Ontario Rock’s Scavenger Hunt is set to run from June 1 through June 20, and the ‘Can you picture Ontario contest?’ will take place between Aug. 1 and Aug. 20. These events are also funded by Ontario Youth Sports’ community sponsors.