SYCAMORE – Local music lovers poured into the Citizens Memorial Sports Complex on Thursday evening with lawn chairs and coolers to get a seat on the lawn of the Good Tymes shelter before the StingRays took the stage.
The free Summer Concert Series, put on by the Sycamore Park District, kicked off June 2 with Caribbean rock band Mr. Myers.
The family-friendly shows are held at 7 p.m. Thursdays through July 28 at the Sports Complex at 435 Airport Road in Sycamore. Guests are encouraged to bring their own seating and provisions, with food and drink available for purchase.
The StingRays returned for their second consecutive year, playing classic rock from The Beatles to Roy Orbison and engaged the crowd with trivia between songs and dance competitions for the kids.
Park District marketing and events supervisor Sarah Rex said the series has been running since at least 2007. She said this year’s lineup is a good mix of new talent and bands returning from previous years.
On Thursday, the MacKenzie O’Brien Band will perform country covers from stars such as Dolly Parton and Little Big Town.
Future performers include Second Time Around on June 30, R-Gang on July 7, a Family Concert with Leonardo on July 14, Off the Charts on July 21 and SunFallen on July 28.
DeKalb residents Chuck and Judy Bergsmith said they have been coming to the series for more than a decade and are planning to return to the park every Thursday this summer.
Citizens Memorial Sports Complex, formerly Sycamore Sports Complex, has received some upgrades since last year’s concert series. Along with the new name, the park has a new baseball field, playground, shelter, paved parking lot and 9-hole disc golf course.
A new “grillmaster” has taken over the flames for this year’s series, serving burgers, brats and hot dogs. Superintendent of Recreation Services Theresa Tevsh said Aaron Olson took to the grill opening week and did so well he got the job for the year.
Olson, 19, has been working with the parks department since he was 16 and said he likes his new position.
“This is fun,” Olson said. “It’s like getting paid to listen to music.”
For information about the Summer Concert Series, visit sycparks.org/summer-concert-series.