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Beginning June 24, the Find Your Park Concert Series will offer free public concerts throughout the summer at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore). The venue will be either the Platte River or D. H. Day Campground Amphitheaters (see individual listings for details). A park pass is required. All concerts begin at 8:00 p.m. and will last about an hour.
The concert series begins with Who Hit John? This old-time bluegrass band will bring their energetic “stompin’, singin’, and clappin’” sound to the Platte River Campground Amphitheater on Friday, June 24.
Next in the concert series is country singer-songwriter Jen Sygit, presenting at the D. H. Day Campground Amphitheater on Saturday, June 25. Her latest release, So Long Pollyanna, was named as album of the year by several radio stations, and was nominated for two WYCE Grand Rapids Jammie Awards.
On Thursday, June 30, Brett Mitchell will bring his eclectic solo performance to the D. H. Day Campground Amphitheater. Mitchell describes himself as being musically influenced by Jeff Lynne, Elvis Costello, and Weezer, and lyrically influenced by John Lennon and Neil Young.
The evening of Thursday, July 28, visitors can listen to the avant-garde folk stylings of Dana Falconberry at the Platte River Campground Amphitheater. Falconberry grew up in Michigan and will sing songs from her album Leelanau. This show will be part of her country-wide tour of national parks.
Bluegrass singer/songwriter and dobro (resonator guitar) player Mark Lavengood will be performing at the D. H. Day Campground on Wednesday, August 17. A Grand Rapids native, Lavengood has based his musical techniques on the styles of bluegrass contemporaries Rob Ikes, Joe Wilson, and Jerry Douglas.
August 18-20, the National Park Service (NPS) Centennial Band will be performing at the National Lakeshore and other venues in the surrounding communities. Check out the National Lakeshore’s calendar for specific locations and times. New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park will be celebrating the past 100 years of the NPS, and preparing for the next 100, by bringing forth the traveling Centennial Band. The Centennial Band performs Traditional New Orleans Jazz and R&B, selections from the Great American Songbook, and original compositions written by Ranger Jeff Wolin. The original songs can be found on Songs for Junior Rangers, Volume 1, and Songs for Junior Rangers, Volume 2: The Centennial Edition. The band’s programming provides the music of New Orleans and the NPS to reach a variety of audiences and to inspire them to find their park throughout the country!
On September 1, classical guitarist and composer Lukas Krolikowski will present an acoustic guitar program at the Platte River Campground Amphitheater. Krolikowski will be performing original works written and inspired by northwest Michigan and Sleeping Bear Dunes, as well as traditional pieces from his repertoire.
The final performance of the concert series will be singer/songwriter Rachel B, a “timeless entertainer with…smoky undertones, sassy delivery and catchy melodies.” Her music is often cited as being “a softer Amy Winehouse.” Rachel has performed at the Traverse City Opera House and Kresge Auditorium, and will perform at the Platte River Campground Amphitheater on Sunday, September 4.
All concerts are free with a park pass. Passes may be purchased at the Phillip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire, Michigan, and cost $15 (per vehicle) for seven days, or $30 for an annual pass. To get to the Platte River Campground Amphitheater from the visitor center in Empire, take M-22 south for 10 miles. Turn right on to Lake Michigan Road and then turn right into the campground office and amphitheater parking lot. The address is 5685 Lake Michigan Road, Honor, Michigan 49640. To get to the D. H. Day Campground Amphitheater, take M-22 north from the visitor center in Empire. Turn left onto M-109 and follow it into Glen Haven. Walk along the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail to the campground and follow the signs to the amphitheater.
For a complete listing of park events, visit https://www.nps.gov/slbe/planyourvisit/ calendar.htm.
Visitors are also encouraged to share their adventures at FindYourPark.com and on social media using hashtags #FindYourPark and #sleepingbearnps. For questions or concerns regarding these events, please call 231-326-4700, ext. 5005.