As a drowsy July sun sinks over the hills, its final rays linger on a glossy Chippewa lapping at the shoreline. Stitched to the banks, a grassy quilt spreads out to create a space for over 2,000 individuals in attendance. Wafts of brick oven pies and freshly-popped kettle swirl though the crowds as amplified bass strums, trap set taps, and melodic voices float high above the park and over its wood-worn bridge in one harmonious flight. From the music, to the sunshine, to the presence of a community sharing laughter and entertainment from a sea of lawn chairs, these summer nights in the park are where you’ll discover the city’s heartbeat.
If you’ve never attended a Sounds Like Summer concert, it should be the very first thing you add to this year’s summer bucket list. Hosted by Eau Claire’s Volume One, this series of musical performances takes place every Thursday evening from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in Phoenix Park. Tots, teens, seniors, and every age in between are welcome to come hear and enjoy local musicians and immerse themselves in the ever-growing Chippewa Valley music scene.
Numerous local food and beverage vendors are present throughout the park grounds during the shows, so whether you want something simple for munching or an all-out picnic, there are plenty of options to choose from. Carry-ins and alcoholic beverages are also acceptable—just make sure to keep drinks within the concert area.
As family-friendly event, you are more than welcome to bring your furry companions along for the fun as well! However, pet owners should be conscious of others in attendance and keep their animals on leashes and towards the outer edges of the seating area.
This year, local acts Nici Peper, Waldemar, and Savannah Smith will kick off the Sounds Like Summer concerts on June 7. For a complete list of acts, please visit volumeone.org/sites/concerts.
So what are you waiting for? Go mark it on your calendar, round up some friends and family, and prepare for a new kind of experience in downtown Eau Claire—I guarantee it will be the highlight of your week.
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