JOLIET – The 41st "Concerts on the Hill" season begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park in Joliet.
The series runs at 6:30 p.m. every Thursday throughout June, July and August, according to a news release. The shows at the park at 201 W. Jefferson St. in Joliet are free, as is the parking in the park and in lots south of Jefferson Street.
The first concert features the Metropolitan Youth Symphony, directed by Lawrence Sisk, and the award-winning Joliet American Legion Band, directed by Tom Drake.
The entire hill offers views of the lighted band shell. For added convenience, chairs may be rented from the park for $1.
The park offers hot dogs with free toppings for $2, according to the news release. Other concessions will be available, such as nachos, root beer floats, popcorn and more. Picnic baskets are also welcome.
In a special Tuesday concert at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 18, the park will host the United States Air Force of Mid-America Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble, according to the news release. The Scott Air Force Base jazz band only have three Illinois performances this summer. Bicentennial Park will host the group's first Illinois stop and only performance in the south suburbs.
Sponsors for this year's concert series include Wadsworth Golf Construction Company, CenterPoint Properties and Joliet Township government.
Many dedicated volunteers also lend their talent and time: national anthem soloists, emcees, concession helpers and all the ushers. Ushers come from the Joliet Exchange Club (June), Joliet Kiwanis (July) and Joliet Lions (August – Lions will also offer eye-health screenings and collect old eyeglasses).
The Joliet Police Auxiliary, courtesy of the Joliet Police Department, also volunteers its services every concert to ensure safe pedestrian crossing and traffic flow.
IF YOU GO
The 41st year of the free “Concerts On The Hill," Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. Bring your chairs and blankets for hill seating.
JUNE (Sponsored by Wadsworth Golf Construction Company, ushered by Joliet Exchange Club)
• June 4 – Metropolitan Youth Symphony, Joliet American Legion Band
• June 11 – Bicentennial “Pops” Band, The Rocky Horror Show Musical Preview, Tinley Park Community Band
• June 18 – Joliet Central High School Big Band, JTHS Alumni Choir
• June 25 – Bicentennial “Pops” Band, The Rocky Horror Show Musical Preview, Joliet Junior College Jazz Band
JULY (Sponsored by CenterPoint Properties, ushered by Joliet Kiwanis Club)
• July 2 – Bicentennial “Pops” Band with Naperville Men’s Glee Club
• July 9 – TT Nelson Swing Band, vocalist Karen Isberg
• July 16 – Bicentennial “Pops” Band, Cloggin’ Craze & Kidz Clog
• July 23 – Vocalist Cheryl Foster, Joliet American Legion Band
• July 30 – Midwest Crossroad Chorus of Sweet Adelines International, Del Bergeson Swing Orchestra
AUGUST (Sponsored by Joliet Township Government, ushered by Joliet Lions Clubs)
• Aug. 6 – Bicentennial “Pops” Band, vocalist Lexi Smith and J Studio Voices
• Aug. 13 – Frankfort Brass Band, New People Singers
• Aug. 18 (special Tuesday show) – Tuesday, 6:30 pm, United States Air Force Band of Mid-America Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble
• Aug. 20 – Eddie Korosa, Jr & The Boys from Illinois Polka Band, Frank Rossi and the Sounds of Sinatra
• Aug. 27 – Joliet Central High School Marching Band, Joliet Township High School Orchestra, Joliet American Legion Band