After much back and forth, it seems like the snowy days are finally dwindling for us here in the midwest, and that means that summer will soon follow, bringing with it a cacophony of live musical talents of all genres and flavors.
Whether you’re into varying degrees of rock n’ roll, folk music, or that oh-so-popular country twang, local venues have you covered this Summer with some serious talent and big name artists.
Here’s what you should know about music coming to the region this Summer season.
Without a doubt, the biggest lineup of popular acts will be found in Huber Heights at the Rose Music Center. Artists such as the Gin Blossoms, 3 Doors Down, Kenny G, Ted Nugent, The Offspring, Alice Cooper, and many more will be making tour stops in Huber Heights to jam out for the masses. Comedian and actor, Steve Martin, will even be at the Rose on May 26th to do a comedy event.
Owned by the city of Huber Heights and managed by Music and Event Management Inc., based out of Cincinnati, The Rose Music Center is a massive outdoor amphitheater that seats a whopping 4,200 people. Located just off of I-70, near Huber Heights, the structure was recently completed 3 years ago in 2015 and is now on a strong upswing, driven by the popular talent that the venue is attracting.
But the Rose isn’t the only venue that is hosting popular performers. The Fraze Pavilion, located in Kettering, will be hosting a strong variety of acts this summer such as O.A.R., Tony Bennett, Earth, Wind and Fire, Reba McEntire, Orleans, and even a comedy set from comedian, Jim Gaffigan.
Built in 1991, the Fraze will be celebrating their 17th season of “Summer’s Best Music Under the Stars” this year. With just a hundred more seats than the Rose, the Fraze showcases a lot more than just popular artists, as they also welcome a variety of more culture-focused, less pop-based performances such as The Motown Sounds of TOUCH and, jazz group, Dave Koz and Friends. The Fraze has a lot going for it this season, so be sure to inquire further.
But maybe you’re a die-hard country fan, trying to get your fix while catching some rays this summer. If so, then you’re in luck as the aforementioned two venues will both be hosting classic country artists, summer festivals will be hosting regional talents, and Fort Loramie will be hosting its annual Country Concert event on July 5th, 6th, and 7th.
Established in 1981, Country Concert has been a popular Summer get-away for both locals and out-of-towners, alike, throughout its 36 year run. This year will be no different with headliners such as Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Kane Brown, and Eric Church along with 20 other acts that country fans aren’t going to want to miss.
As for those who’d rather support and experience talents of the more local variety, I suggest contacting your local community arts centers, bars, bowling alleys, country clubs, high schools, and parks committees to see what future events they have organized.
A few other major music events and locales to check out this Summer are the Canal Music Festival on June 9th (Tipp City), BMI Indoor Speedway (Versailles), Springfest on July 7th (Yellow Springs), the Summer Concert Series in New Bremen, Dayton’s Celtic Music Festival on July 27-29, the PigMania State BBQ Championship and Music Festival on May 18 (Lima), and the Festival of Fire on June 29th in Bellefontaine.
With such a broad variety of acts and venues to choose from, many will be hard pressed to find at least one act that they don’t want to experience this summer. If you’re a live music fan, be sure to be proactive and catch some tunes while you’re working on that tan, because who doesn’t need a little more music in their life?
On March 30th, just in time for the Easter weekend, if you were in Troy, Ohio’s downtown square, you would have no doubt seen participants of the town’s annual Chocolate Walk. The Chocolate Walk is a community event put on by the local non-profit, Troy Main Street, featuring 23 local merchants coming together to create a cocoa-filled evening full of delicious stops.
Participants buy tickets leading up to the event and, once there, walk around to each location. At each venue, participants receive a chocolate-related item in exchange for a mark on their ticket, a three-fold win for the businesses, Troy Main Street, and event-goers.
However, there was one such stop that was especially notable, as it featured a locale that not only hosted one business, but rather two, working mutually to support one another in a way that we might not often consider, similar to the Chocolate Walk’s own cooperative efforts.
Selling her artfully crafted and scrumptious macarons, as well as giving out hearty chocolate muffins for the event, Auglaize County's own Michelle Adams, of Michelle's Macarons, found herself in Troy on that Friday evening to the excitement of many who were enjoying her work.
Michelle has been fully engaged in her macaron pastry business for about a year and a half and the venture has gained a lot of momentum. Michelle has thrived on both branching out to places like Bowling Green and the support of her local environment within New Bremen.
Michelle did not succeed unwittingly though. She spent 2 ½ years prior to her full-time commitment, honing her craft part-time and considering the best avenues to achieve success, and her choice to do so has seemingly payed off as her macarons speak for themselves.
To distribute her products, Michelle has used various outlets such as store fronts to sell alongside their daily inventory. She also attends farmer’s markets where customers can get a more intimate interaction with Michelle and her products.
But here at the Chocolate Walk, Michelle was taking part in a vending experience that was similar to a farmer’s market, but the same interaction was occuring in a full restaurant space, a space that Michelle did not actually own, but was instead renting.
Michelle was being hosted as a vendor in a restaurant officially known as Lunch @ 4 W. Main, a relatively innovative idea for a business, also known as a satellite kitchen or a pop-up lunch spot.
Essentially, the space is open on weekdays from 11 am to 2 pm, and features a rotating selection of local vendors to serve, as the name entails, lunch to the average working person. The location of Lunch @ 4 W. Main is optimal too, as it really allows lesser-known food-producers to shine on Troy’s main street, a location with a lot of demand for walking distance food sources and a quick meal.
Lunch has even sparked the interest of franchise catering companies such as Bob Evans to join in on the opportunity. The only notable requisite for being a vendor is that food must be pre-made before being brought to the location. Lunch also hosts catered events and other uses for the space during its non-business hours, and is a really elegant space that matches its unique ideas.
Lunch is quite adaptive to the atmosphere of Troy, but when asked about future expansion into new regions, co-founders Jessica and Karen expressed that they believe that the satellite kitchen idea could work in many spaces. However, the two are happy to stay local and provide for the immediate Troy community for the time being.
Whether it’s an organized event, an unlikely food producer, or an innovative platform for fulfilling local demands, Friday evening’s success serves as a reminder that good business can be as much about creating innovative connections as it is about creating innovative products, a lesson we can all use a little more of going into the future.