Summer City Band concerts, lunchtime performances add to outdoor entertainment in downtown Lawrence

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Area musicians are preparing for their cue as the Lawrence City Band and Brown Bag Concert Series return for a summer of outdoor entertainment in downtown Lawrence.

The City Band will kick off its season at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, at South Park’s William Kelly Bandstand, 1141 Massachusetts St. The concerts, which are free and open to the public, are scheduled to continue through July 13.

The band played its first concert in 1860, when musicians who had brought their instruments with them from Massachusetts to Kansas played a concert sponsored by the Emigrant Aid Society. The band evolved over the years and eventually was absorbed by area schools before being resurrected in 1964.

Now sponsored by Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department and the Rice Foundation, shows will take place weekly at the same time and location. In the event of inclement weather, concerts will be held at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive.

The Lawrence City Band is conducted by Paul Popiel, professor of music and director of bands at the University of Kansas.

Lawrence City Band Schedule

Updated July 6:

  • May 25 – Summertime in South Park (canceled)
  • June 1 – Downtown Dance Mix (held at the Lied Center)
  • June 8 – From Stage and Screen
  • June 15 – Hands Across the Channel
  • June 22 – Sunny Days, Warm Nights
  • June 29 – American Vistas
  • July 6 – American Salute (to be held at the Lied Center)
  • July 13 – Grand Finale

The Brown Bag Concert Series bring music to downtown Lawrence at noon on Thursdays on the plaza area in front of U.S. Bank, 900 Massachusetts St.

Sponsored by Lawrence Parks and Recreation in conjunction with Downtown Lawrence, Inc., the event offers a variety of music by local artists each week through July 28.

If there is inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.

Brown Bag Concert Series Schedule

Updated July 6:

  • June 2 – The Beer Bellies
  • June 9 – Kim and the Quake
  • June 16 – Paul Gray
  • June 23 – River Valley Boys
  • June 30 – Billy Ebeling and the Late for Dinner Band
  • July 7 – Vaughn Cowden
  • July 14 – Jubilee Mystics
  • July 21 – River Valley Boys
  • July 28 – TBA

Information about both summer music programs can be found online at the Lawrence Parks & Recreation Summer Concerts website.

Post updated at 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, July 6

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