From the Summer Sizzle concert series to the Homecoming Celebration and Big Splash Aquatics Center, a variety of outdoor activities will keep Grove City Parks and Recreation staff annoyed by the weather throughout the upcoming summer season.
And that’s fine by Parks and Recreation Superintendent Kelly Sutherland.
After two summers of canceled or restricted events, parks and recreation staff are planning a robust — in some cases expanded — list of warm-weather events.
“It’s going to be nice to just have to worry about the traditional things – whether it’s going to rain or not – and not about people having to wear masks and hopefully not a revival,” Sutherland said. “I can deal with rain worries. We look forward to having an almost normal, traditional summer this year.”
The Summer Sizzle free concert series begins May 27 with a performance by the Grove City Community Winds.
“Last year we weren’t able to show a Community Winds concert and the entire Summer Sizzle series was cut,” Sutherland said. “Typically, the show starts Memorial Day weekend and runs through Labor Day.”
The concerts only took place in July and August last year.
The 2022 series returns to its normal start on the Friday before Memorial Day at 7 p.m. on May 27, but the schedule extends through September this season.
“We listened to what people told us,” Sutherland said. “A lot of people want outdoor activities like concerts to last into the fall.”
The series was moved last year to Town Center Park, 3359 Park St., the former library location across from the city’s security complex.
“It turned out to be an even better venue for the concerts than we anticipated,” Sutherland said. “This green space is a perfect place to bring a chair or blanket and enjoy good music.
“It’s like Picnic at the Pops, only on a smaller scale,” she said.
Town Center Park, which is still under development, will help draw more people downtown and introduce them to the neighborhood’s restaurants, bars and shops, Sutherland said.
“One of the advantages of Town Center Park is that it’s in our DORA neighborhood,” she said.
The DORA (Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area) is a boundary within the city center.
Guests can purchase an alcoholic beverage in a DORA-branded cup at a liquor store and take their drink with them as they stroll through the city center and stop at participating shops and businesses.
DORA is open Monday through Saturday from 2pm to midnight except during some special events including Boo Off Broadway, the city’s Christmas celebration and the Homecoming Celebration.
The City Council approved a resolution on September 7, 2021 approving the expansion of the DORA boundary, effective October 7.
“We wanted to include the Park Street green space in the DORA because that space is now being used for a lot of city events,” Andy Furr, executive director of Heart of Grove City, the nonprofit group that sponsors the town center, said at the time.
The move to include the additional section of Broadway in the DORA boundary came after some of the companies in the area expressed a desire to participate, Furr said.
The Homecoming Celebration, held in conjunction with the Grove City Alumni Softball Tournament, will be held on July 29 on Park Street, east of Broadway and in and around the Town Center Park grounds.
The park is also designated for outdoor performances of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown by Little Theater Off Broadway. The performances are scheduled for June 24-26 and July 22-24.
“We’re set up so downtown has outdoor events almost every weekend, whether it’s the Summer Sizzle concerts, the LTOB plays, or the Food Truck Festival, and Shop Hop the Heart of Grove City hosts every other week (May through October )” Sutherland said.
The Summer Sizzle series schedule includes:
May 27th Grove City Community Winds (patriotic marches and jazz)
3rd of June Marquis 66 (classic rock ‘n’ roll)
the 10th of June, Whiskey Would (Classic Rock & Roll)
July 1, The Usual Suspects (Blues, Southern Rock, Motown and Jazz)
2nd July, Special Concert from 3:00 p.m. to 4:40 p.m., Central Ohio Brass Band (patriotic marches and jazz)
8th of July 50 Steps Up (Skirt)
15th of July The Russell Blues Band (blues, jazz, latin, pop)
5th of August The Conspiracy Band (R&B, rock ‘n’ roll and jazz)
August 19th Ladies of Longford (contemporary Celtic, acoustic, pop)
26th of August Nacho street band (variety)
2 Sept Lee Gantt Band (country, rock ‘n’ roll)
September 23rd Rezes-Hall Band (classic rock)
30. September Lords of Literature (classic rock)
The concerts start at 7pm and are free.
Visit grovecityohio.gov for more information.
Weather-related cancellation information is available on the @GroveCityOhio and @GroveCityParks Facebook and Twitter pages or by calling the Weather Hotline at 614-277-3060 on the day of the event.