Urbana’s Sounds of Summer concert series returns

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

The sun is providing the warmth of summer that will be complemented in Champaign County by the Sounds of Summer. The annual series of free concerts begins with a weekend featuring multiple artists in Urbana.

A pair of duos will start things Friday with series returnee Eleyet McConnell performing original music from their debut album at 6 p.m. followed by Honey and Blue, who do a set of pop and soul music in Melvin Miller Park, 731 Children’s Home Road. There will also be several food trucks and beer for sale beginning at 5 p.m.

Sounds of Summer is presented by the Champaign County Arts Council (CCAC).

Saturday will see the CCAC sponsor an entertainer for the Urbana Black Heritage Festival for the second year with True Essence, performing at 6 p.m. in Barbara Howell Park, 213 E. Market St.

“Music is art and people are ready to get back outside,” CCAC executive director Marcia Callicoat said. “They enjoy it being free and a good time to spend with family members and friends.”

After a year off, live music will return for the county’s Fourth of July celebrations although later, July 6 at Grimes Airport, 1636 N. Main St., Urbana. Victorious KayBirds will play music in a mix of genres with a soul undertow at 6 p.m.

Callicoat said the event will have a fresh feel with a lot of different activities and some familiar ones with fireworks to round out the day.

Another Urbana signature event will also move dates. Art Affair on the Square will move up a weekend to July 13 downtown. There will be live music throughout the day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and include Larry Lyons and others.

Following tradition, Sounds of Summer will end the season at 6 p.m. Aug. 18 at Harmon Park, 141 High St. in St. Paris with series favorite Noah Back, who will do his set of popular cover songs.

“People love him and there’s always a good turnout,” said Callicoat. “Money is tight and people appreciate having the chance to get out and enjoy something for free, and we’re glad to do this for the community.”

Attendees should bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. For more information on Sounds of Summer, go to champaigncountyartscouncil.org/events.

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