The White Pigeon Township Library’s annual Summertime Tunes concert series is returning for its 10th year this summer, and thanks to the generosity of several community sponsors, will feature five performances over as many weeks at no cost to the public.
The series will kickoff next Wednesday (June 22) at 6 p.m. at Wade Park with Whistle Pigs: Common Prairie Dog Brass, a seven-piece horn band from Northern Indiana playing “the finest in Classic Rock, R&B, Funk, Jazz, Boogie and Soul.” Three Rivers crowd favorite Weenie Kings will also be serving food in conjunction with the Whistle Pigs performance.
On Wednesday, June 29 at 6 p.m. Kennedy’s Kitchen will perform inside the library, where free refreshments will be provided. The band describes their music as “all things Irish from pub songs and sing-a-longs, stories, recitation, to ripping dance tunes; from pounding on the tables to crying in your beer.” July’s acts will include Natchez Trace (July 6 at Wade Park), the Kuungana African Drum and Dance Company (July 13 at Wade Park), and The Whateverly Brothers (July 20 inside the library), all starting at 6 p.m.
White Pigeon Library Director Perri Saunders said the event started in 2012 with a single band, and has grown in size and popularity ever since. With the exception of 2020, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Summertime Tunes has become a staple in St. Joseph County summer entertainment.
“[Before Summertime Tunes] we didn’t have any kind of opportunity for people or families to come and enjoy free music in our community, especially quality music in a family setting,” Saunders said. “It’s really something that we have felt strongly about, and we really wanted to offer it to our community.”
Traditionally Summertime Tunes would take place during the weekend but this year the library decided to do things differently.
“We’ve also changed it up this year to go Wednesday nights,” Saunders said. “We have five Wednesdays in a row, and we’re really hoping that that will bring in those people who are like, ‘Oh, it’s the weekend, I only have two days on the weekend. I don’t want to be tied down to anything.’ Wednesday night? “Alright, let’s go have some food from the food truck and enjoy some great music.'”
Staff member Judy Broadworth said the location for most of the shows, Wade Park, makes going to a concert more convenient and accessible for families.
“It is very convenient. There’s good parking, we set up a handicap area, it’s got some shade,” Broadworth said. “There’s a pavilion, there’s a playground for kids. So it works really nicely for everyone.”
Saunders said the concert series’ lineup wouldn’t have come together as it has without the generosity of community sponsors, as Summertime Tunes 2022 will feature more acts than ever before.
“We have very generous sponsors, and anything that’s not covered through sponsorship we plan on using our programming budget for but this year, we are practically covered,” Saunders said. “And this is huge for us, we’ve never done five (performers). So this is a big event for us, a series of big events.”
Community sponsors for Summertime Tunes 2022 include:
Farrand Funeral Home
White Pigeon Area Community Foundation
Woodlands Library Cooperative
White Pigeon Friends of the Library
Full Ride Custom Golf Carts
White Pigeon Banking Center
Omni Credit Union
David L. Girton Memorial
Constantine Flooring Center
White Pigeon Action Club
Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for any show held at Wade Park, as seating will not be provided. In case of rain, shows will be moved to the library. For more information about Summertime Tunes you can call (269) 483-7409 or visit the library’s Facebook page.
Alek Haak-Frost is executive editor and publisher of Watershed Voice.