Phil Dirt and the Dozers (Photo submitted)
Phil Dirt and the Dozers (Photo submitted)
Information submitted

VAN WERT - As the weather warms, local residents await the beginning of the Fountain Park Summer Music Series. The free Friday night concerts have become a summer tradition in Van Wert.

On Wednesday, the Van Wert County Foundation announced the lineup for the 11th annual series in cooperation with the Van Wert City Parks & Recreation. All concerts are funded with a gift from the Saltzgaber Music Fund of The Van Wert County Foundation. Concerts begin at 7 p.m. and the public is encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the free concerts.

This year, the music begins with long-time favorite Phil Dirt & the Dozers returning to the park for Peony Festival and ArtRageous weekend. On Friday, June 7, America's premier "Rock 'N Roll oldies" review make its return to Fountain Park due to popular demand. Phil Dirt & the Dozers is the most popular vintage rock and roll show in the nation. With musical talent, high energy and a contagious sense of humor, Phil Dirt & the Dozers will send you back to another time and place - a perfect way to kick off the summer celebrations.
Two weeks later, Van Wert will welcome the best of classic rock with the band Bostyx, a 1970s feel-good tribute to the music of Boston and Styx. The music features amazing live vocal harmonies which are sure to be a hit with crowds of all ages. Lead singer and guitarist David Victor actually plays with the band Boston currently, but he is planning to be in Van Wert with Bostyx for this show. Come hear "More than a Feeling," "Long Time," "Don't Look Back," "Come Sail Away," "Lady," and "Babe" on June 21.

On June 28 the city will welcome the Lincoln Highway Antique Car Show with a trip back in time provided by the Toledo Jazz Orchestra. The orchestra and guest vocalist will pay tribute to the Big Band era with music popularized by Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Wood Herman, and Stan Kenton. Feel free to dance the night away to great tunes like "Woodchopper's Ball," "Mood Indigo," and "In the Mood," and many others.

July 4th will extend into Friday, July 5 when the Lima Symphony Pops Orchestra make a long-delayed appearance in Fountain Park. Last year, the Pops were supposed to perform for the holiday in Van Wert, but the wind storm and the resulting damage forced the show to be canceled. This year the Van Wert Holiday at Home celebration will be in full stride when the Lima Symphony Pops Orchestra take the stage for a holiday performance.

Van Wert County Foundation Coordinator of Performing Arts Paul Hoverman said that he found the best sounds of the Doobie Brothers in New York. "Minute by Minute is one of the finest tribute bands performing the music of the Doobie Brothers and Michael McDonald," he stated. The band will be playing Doobies classics like "China Grove," "Minute By Minute," and "Listen to the Music" to Fountain Park for a memorable concert on Friday July 19.

One week later, on July 26, Ted Vigil will be back in Van Wert with his tribute to John Denver. Vigil will be returning with long-time John Denver band guitarist Steve Weisberg. "You will literally think you are seeing and hearing John Denver, himself," declared Hoverman. Since performing in Van Wert a few years back, Ted Vigil has gone on to new heights with his Rocky Mountain Tribute to John Denver.

Then on Aug. 9, it's the Fountain Park finale when The Ides of March featuring Jim Peterik come to town. With it's signature horn riff and opening line, "I'm a friendly stranger in the black sedan," The Ides of March's hit "Vehicle" burst onto the charts and became the fastest breaking single in Warner Bros. history. Peterik went on to more success with the group Survivor and the signature tune, "Eye of the Tiger" as well as writing the hit "Hold On Loosely" for 38 Special. The Ides of March show will pack plenty of hits into the Aug. 9 show.

The Van Wert Area Concert Band, under the direction of Richard Sherrick, will also be a big part of the Summer Music Series once again with performances on May 24, July 12, and Aug. 16. This local band will be gearing up for three exciting and entertaining concerts.