Red Wing Arts recently received the go-ahead for outdoor concerts. With a little assist from the City of Red Wing and a few sponsors, they’ll restart Concerts in the Park, in their 50th year.
“Red Wing is such a city that supports the arts,” Emily Foos, the executive director of Red Wing Arts, said. “It goes to show how valuable the arts are in a time like this.”
Here are a few things to know about the concert series.
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It begins with Everyday People on July 8. Among the other confirmed bands: Patchouli and Terra Guitarra on July 15, The Double Down Daredevils on July 29, and The Dads Band on Aug. 5. Keep an eye on Facebook for more later this summer. It’s a more local lineup than in years past, Foos said, since the planned lineup for the summer was canceled. But there’s a perk there. “Our goal is to have a local connection to keep money local,” she said. “So all of the artists… have a connection to Red Wing Arts, have lived in our community, or have families in our community.”
Yes, you have to social distance. The City of Red Wing can allow up to 250 people at an outdoor event like Concerts in the Park. That’ll be a smaller-than-usual crowd for the series. “Our average is 400,” Foos said. “It depends on the band and who’s playing --we’ve had 800 people in the past… but the space can hold a thousand.” Red Wing Arts has marked out spaces for families to gather six feet away from each other, and asks that if the spaces are full, anyone who arrives later respect that the event is at capacity. They ask that listeners wear masks, as well, to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19.
If you’re not comfortable watching from the grass, there are plenty of other ways to participate. The City of Red Wing will allow parking on both sides of the street, East and West between 4th and 5th during concerts, Foos said. That’s not just to reduce walking time for latecomers. “People who don’t feel comfortable getting out of their cars can be parked to still hear it,” she said. Red Wing Arts will also stream the concerts through their Facebook page. Pivoting to virtual has actually allowed Red Wing Arts to reach more listeners who don’t have transportation or access to their in-person events, Foos said -- a silver lining after all of the cancellations. “The virtual can definitely reach more people,” she said.
If You Go
What: Concerts in the Park
Where: Central Park Bandshell, 415 W 4th St., Red Wing
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday nights, July 8-Aug. 26
More information: www.redwingarts.org