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Sounds of summer

Outdoor concerts, movies to orchestrate summer fun

RockStar Rodeo bassist Scott Williams dances with his wife, Stephanie Brook, as he plays June 27 in the Batavia Park District's River Rhapsody Concert Series at the Peg Bond Center.
RockStar Rodeo bassist Scott Williams dances with his wife, Stephanie Brook, as he plays June 27 in the Batavia Park District's River Rhapsody Concert Series at the Peg Bond Center.

BATAVIA – Live music, picnics and two movie nights will make summer memories on four more Wednesday evenings thanks to the River Rhapsody Concert Series presented by the Batavia Park District and Batavia Rotary Club.

The Peg Bond Center at the Batavia Riverwalk is the concert setting at 7 p.m. July 18 and 25 and Aug. 1 and 8. Because the Fourth of July fell on a Wednesday this year, the series has been extended by a week from its normal schedule, according to Katie Drum, director of marketing for the Batavia Park District.

"We have been lucking out – the weather has been perfect for every concert so far," Drum said. "We've had the biggest crowds I've ever seen this summer."

Combining two entertainment favorites will be movies screened in the park after concerts on two nights, July 25 and Aug. 1.

"The concerts end roughly at 8:30 p.m. and immediately afterwards, we switch gears and turn it into an outdoor movie theater," Drum said.

The July 25 film will be "Wonder," based on the best-selling book. It is described as an inspiring and heartwarming story about August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time, according to The 2017 film stars Jacob Tremblay as Auggie, with Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson as his parents.

The Aug. 1 movie switches to action comedy with the original "Ghostbusters," starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver.

People are invited to bring picnics to the concerts and movies. Bernie's Bully Dogs will offer hot dogs, snacks and beverages for purchase.

"[The Riverwalk] is surrounded by lots of lovely food places," Drum said. "You can bring food down. Get it delivered. I've seen people bring incredible picnic spreads. Bring your own nonalcoholic drinks."

The concerts will feature the following bands.

July 18: Pirates Over 40 will infuse the band's tropical flavor into Jimmy Buffett songs, favorite oldies and classic rock.

July 25: Soda is a quartet known for its diverse play list, with everything from Johnny Cash to Dave Matthews, Styx to John Mayer.

Aug. 1: Shindig! will conjure up the 1960s music scene with songs by The Beatles, Beach Boys, Monkees, Rolling Stones, Byrds, Herman's Hermits, Cryan' Shames, Mamas and the Papas, and Sonny and Cher, including a tribute to the best women-led groups of the decade.

Aug. 8: Wild Daisy is a female-fronted country band known for current, upbeat country music with a few pop and rock songs thrown into the lively mix.

Drum said the Park District welcomes feedback from the public on what people are looking for in the concert series and how they would like to see it shaped or expanded in the future.

For more information, visit or call 630-879-5235.

In addition to Rotary, the 2018 River Rhapsody Concert Series sponsors include Batavia Animal Clinic, Batavia Parks Foundation, Batavia Historical Society, Golden Seal Service Experts Heating and Air Conditioning, Kane County Chronicle and John Faust of Batavia.

If you go

WHAT: River Rhapsody Concert Series plus movies in the park

WHERE: Peg Bond Center at Batavia Riverwalk, 100 N. Island Ave., downtown Batavia

WHEN: Concerts at 7 p.m. July 18 and 25 and Aug. 1 and 8; movies afterward on July 25 and Aug. 1

COST: Free

INFO:, 630-879-5235

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