Art in the Park gets the summer fun started in Pine City

It’s a new start to summer and a new chance to enjoy Fridays evenings of music, food, friends and family with a season of Art in the Park.

The Pine City Arts Council presents the latest edition of the annual concert series in Robinson Park. Food will be served by a different local fundraising organization starting at 5:30 p.m., and music at 6:30 p.m. and running until 8:30 p.m.

In case of rain, organizers plan to hold the event in the Pine County Event Center (the new beer hall) at the Pine County Fairgrounds.

Bus rides to and from Art in the Park will continue to be free. Free rides can be arranged to and from visitors’ homes even outside the usual three-mile radius for the bus service. To arrange a ride, call ahead t0 the Arrowhead Transit bus service at 1-800-862-0175. Pick-ups will take place at Northern Pine Assisted Living at 6 p.m. and at the Westchester Apartments at 6:10 p.m.

“Everyone is welcome to ride,” said said Adrienne Roubinek of the Pine City Arts Council. She noted that there are no age restrictions to ride the bus, and said that on June 1, everyone who rides on the bus will get a free umbrella with their free ride.

“There’s a quote from the movie ‘The Greatest Showman’ that goes ‘The noblest art is that of making other people happy,’” Roubinek said. “You can see and feel people’s joy. That’s what motivates me. I can work hard for this and feel good that it’s helping others. Because music, and theater and the arts enhance our lives and bring joy. Pine City has a better quality of life because of the Pine City Arts Council. ”

Music, food and fun

• The opening notes of Art in the Park will be heard on Friday, May 25.  The first concert of the year will, as always, be provided by the Pine City Jazz Band, with sloppy joes served by the Music Boosters.

• On June 1, Johnny Cash tribute band “Church of Cash” will play the songs of the legendary Man in Black, with food provided by the Girl Scouts.

• On June 8, the Why Back Whens variety band will share  a selection of oldies with sloppy joes served by First Presbyterian.

• Dust off those blue suede shoes on June 15 for “Echoes of Elvis” with BBQ turkey served by Catholic Sodality.

• June 22 will bring Backyard Band and a variety of favorite tunes, with cheeseburgers served by the Boy Scouts.

• On June 29, Robinson Park will be rocking with the songs of the 1950s as perennial favorites Whitesidewalls take the stage.

• After a hot dog dinner from Zion Lutheran Church, Roxy Hall Band will perform on July 6.  Roubinek said she first spotted them performing at the DNR building at the Minnesota State Fair.

“It’s an all female band ... kind of bluesy, jazzy rock,” Roubinek said. “They’re great. People love them.”

• The After Hours Big Band and Carolina BBQ from Our Redeemer will be served up on July 13. The After Hours Big Band features talented musicians from the Kleppe and Osterdyk families. Roubinek said she is excited to see the jazz ensemble come to Pine City, along with the two local graduates.

• The 41st annual Art Fest will be held on Saturday, July 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The arts and crafts fair will feature over 70 exhibitors, with music by Neighberz, and children’s corner for kids, food and refreshments.

• Friday night concerts return one last time on July 27, as polka masters Jolly Zuks (and walking tacos from Pine Area Lions) close out the summer season for Art in the Park.

“It’s expensive to go see a lot of these things,” Roubinek noted. “Pine City gets them free because of our wonderful sponsors.”

Music and community can be a magical combination, and many marvelous moments are sure to be had this summer during Art in the Park.

“That’s what motivates all of us on the Art Council,” Roubinek said. “They’re dedicated volunteers who have been doing it for years and years and years. It’s just a great group. Whether we’re doing Art on the Road and taking people to the art, or Doll Days which are bringing American Girl Dolls and their history stories alive for young girls, or whether it’s Art in Concert so we can bring some larger bands to Pine City in our beautiful new auditorium, or Art in the Park, where it’s a multi-generational free event. It’s bringing joy to other people.”

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