Music ready to go on city waterfront


OBSERVER City Editor

It’s time to start getting your ears ready to listen and your feet ready to dance – Dunkirk’s waterfront will come alive with music before you know it. Well, not that soon, but with the weather turning, thinking of warm-weather events is easier.

And just to prove the point, the lineup is just about set for the Dunkirk Festivals Committee’s first go-round in running the city’s summer events.

The season kicks off Thursday, June 6 with Music on the Pier followed by the start of the Wreck & Roll Festival the next day. Music on the Pier continues every Thursday until Aug. 29, with one exception. With July 4 on a Thursday this year, that night’s performance will be held in Memorial Park due to the pier being needed for the fireworks setup and display.

Tribute bands dominate the schedule, beginning with the June 6 opening night performance with The Bon Jovi Tribute Band scheduled.

June 7, the start of Wreck & Roll, will find local performers Gina V and the Bobcats rocking the pier.

Three bands are set for Saturday of Wreck & Roll with Hot Rocks, a Rolling Stones tribute band that played at last year’s Beach Bash, closing the Wreck & Roll events.

First-timer Three Degrees North along with Recess, which played at last year’s Beach Bash, will precede Hot Rocks playing the pier.

Music on the Pier continues June 13 with first-timer Patrick Johnson providing an Elvis tribute performance. Mama Kin is set for June 20 as the Aerosmith tribute band is back after a year’s absence. La Krema returns to provide their Merengue and Bachata-based offerings on June 27 to round out the month.

The Fourth of July fireworks display will be preceded by a performance by Elevation, a U-2 tribute band that has previously entertained music lovers in the city. Music returns to the pier July 11 with a return performance by 25 or 64 to provide their Chicago tribute.

Buffalo Touch, a polka band, will play July 18. The event coincides with the Dunkirk Falcons Club celebration of its 100th anniversary and the Polish National Alliance golf tournament being held that week at Shorewood Country Club.

Local country singer Jackson Rhome returns to the pier July 25 to round out the month while Strictly Hip, a Tragically Hip tribute band, returns to kick off the final month of pier performances on Aug. 1.

The Beach Bash is set for Aug. 3 in Wright Park with Jersey the headliner. The Springsteen tribute band has been a big draw each time they’ve played the pier. Two more bands are in the works for the day-long event.

Music on the Pier resumes Aug. 8 with Captain Fantastic back after a year’s absence to pay tribute to the work of Elton John. The Nickle City Pimp Choir returns Aug. 15 with their pier-rocking offerings of rhythm and blues. A Billy Joel tribute is set for Aug. 22 when 52nd Street returns for the third time. A British invasion will occur on Aug. 29 with Revolver making its second appearance.

The inaugural Heritage Festival is set for Saturday, Sept. 7 with a downtown location. Weepa (Spanish), Stone Row (Irish-Celtic rock), Nick Batistella (Frank Sinatra-Tony Bennett songs) and DTO with contemporary offerings are set. Some details of the Heritage Festival are still being worked on. In addition, a Polish-music band is expected to fill the final musical slot.

Mayor Anthony J. Dolce chairs the Festival Committee and was asked about the music schedule.

“I’m excited for the upcoming festival season, a lot of time and effort goes into these,” he replied. “We thank our sponsors for making them possible and the public for coming out and supporting them.”

Dolce added a few more sponsors may be needed but they were just about set.

Major sponsors include DFT, the Dunkirk Chamber of Commerce, Cott and Advanced Production Group.

Thursday sponsors include Lake Shore Bank, Columbus Club, Moniuszko Club, Dunkirk Falcon Club, First Niagara Bank, Columbus Club, Graf Realty, STEL, Employees Union 912, Andy B Concrete and G&E Tents.

Smaller event sponsors include Kosciuszko Club, Casella Waste Management and the Community Foundation.

Dolce was asked how the transition has gone from running the festivals out of the Department of Development to working with a decent-sized festivals committee.

“It takes a little longer to arrive at some decisions, but overall, I think it’s going very well,” he replied. “It’s what needed to happen in order to put on not only what we were doing but the two additions. It simply was taking up too much time of that department. I think with the full active committee it will be a big help.

“We’ve got a pretty good group.”

More than likely that pretty good group will be joined by pretty large groups as the music plays on.

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