Escanaba City Band getting ready for busy centennial season

ESCANABA — Concerts, performances and special events for the Escanaba City Band’s 100th season have been announced as they get ready for a busy year.

Free Wednesday night concerts at the Karas Band Shell in Ludington Park begin June 19 at 7:30 p.m. and run through Aug. 14. The summer concerts have been a tradition since 1924.

“The city band is one of Escanaba’s oldest and most beloved cultural organizations and an integral part of many events throughout the year,” said Bruce Cassell, band director of the Escanaba City Band. “We are looking forward to a great year of music to celebrate our 100th anniversary.”

Each Wednesday, Cassell said a local leader or well-known member of the community will conduct the first musical number following the National Anthem.

“It’s a special way to start each concert. A musical version of baseball’s ceremonial first pitch and the audience will love the line up of VIPs we’ve assembled” he said.

The season kicks off with two special events the week before the summer concerts begin.

On Wednesday, June 12, the band will perform at the Friends of the Library Ice Cream Social beginning at 6 p.m. at the Escanaba Public Library. The city band will also be part of the Escanaba Elks Lodge #354 annual Flag Day program on Friday, June 14, at Ludington Park at 7 p.m.

At the Wednesday concert on July 24, the city band will formally celebrate its 100th anniversary with a special Community Picnic & Centennial Celebration Concert.

“Thanks to our generous sponsors, we will host a picnic and invite members of the community and our loyal fans to join the band for complimentary food and cake before the concert,” said Amy Chown, chair of the city band’s 100th anniversary committee and a member of the band.

The picnic begins at 5 p.m. with the concert and re-dedication of the Karas Band Shell at 7:30 p.m. The program will include Mayor Mark Ammel reading an official proclamation highlighting the city band’s important role in Escanaba. July 24 will be declared “Escanaba City Band Day” by the Escanaba City Council.

Other special events include “A Toast to the City Band” community reception on Saturday, June 22 at Leigh’s Garden Winery in Escanaba. A limited-edition wine of 100 bottles will be unveiled to honor the Escanaba City Band with a program at 5 p.m. The band will also perform patriotic favorites at Escanaba’s Fireworks Celebration on Saturday, July 6 and play at the Governor’s Luncheon at the U.P. State Fair on Thursday, Aug. 11

“There is no better feeling for musicians who gather for a common purpose: ‘To bring joy to our audiences in a way that promotes a positive quality of life.’ This is why we do what we do,” said Joe Hellberg, assistant band director. “The Escanaba City Band is the heartbeat of the summer live music scene. We hope more people can come and support us during this celebratory season and we look forward to performing music for all ages.”

There are 45 members in the city band, age 18 to 94.

Sponsors of the Escanaba City Band’s centennial season include the city of Escanaba, Daniel J. Kobasic Foundaton, Community Foundation for Delta County, First Bank, Riverside Auto Group, Elmer’s County Market, Leigh’s Garden Winery, Delta Chamber of Commerce, Edward J. Sackerson Foundation, Carpet and Drapery Shoppe, Richards Printing and numerous individual donors. Media sponsors include The Daily Press and WDBC-AM/FM.

The full calendar of events is as follows:

Wed., June 12 – Friends of the Library Ice Cream Social, Escanaba Public Library, 6 p.m.

Fri., June 14 – Escanaba Elks Lodge #354 Flag Day Ceremony, Ludington Park, 7 p.m.

Wed., June 19-Aug. 14 – Escanaba City Band Concerts, Ludington Park, 7:30 p.m.

Sat., June 22 – A Toast to the City Band Community Reception, Leigh’s Garden Winery, 5 p.m.

Thurs., July 4 – Gladstone 4th of July Parade, 11 a.m.

Sat., July 6 – Escanaba Fireworks Celebration & Concert, Ludington Park, 8:30 p.m.

Wed., July 24 – Community Picnic and Centennial Celebration Concert, Ludington Park, 5 p.m. picnic; 7:30 pm concert

Sat. July 27 – Sidewalk Sales, Downtown Escanaba, 11 a.m.

Sat., Aug. 3 – Waterfront Art Festival, Ludington Park, 11 a.m.

Thurs., Aug. 15 – Governor’s Luncheon, U.P. State Fair, 11 a.m.

Fri., Aug. 16 – Brat and Hot Dog Fundraiser, Elmer’s Country Market, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Mon., Sept. 2 – Escanaba Labor Day Parade, Downtown Escanaba, 11 a.m.

Tues., Nov. 26 – Christmas Tree Lighting, Downtown Escanaba Center Court, 5:30 p.m.

Tues., Dec. 3 – Holiday Concert, Bay College Besse Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Fri., Dec. 6 – Escanaba Christmas Parade, Downtown Escanaba, 6 p.m.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today