Park Rhythms ready to kick off another summer

Lyn May
Special to The Black Mountain News

Park Rhythms draws a lively crowd of families and friends annually to the shore of Lake Tomahawk for music and food. This summer the concert series kicks off its 20th anniversary with a performance by Crooked Pine Band on June 25.

Brittany Williams is the special events coordinator for Town of Black Mountain. She remembers attending Park Rhythms as a child, and now she books the bands and vendors.

In summer of 1996, Park Rhythms had its debut with a budget of only $200. LeAnn Bannerman, the special events coordinator at the time, had the idea to host a concert series in Black Mountain. After begging, pleading, and borrowing, Bannerman was able to bring together six performances that would take place over the course of six weeks.

Over the years Park Rhythms started bringing in local restaurants from Asheville and Black Mountain as vendors for the events, as well as dessert vendors and free face painting. It has become an event that has brought the community closer together, as children run and play with their schoolmates and adults reconnect with friends they haven't seen since the previous Park Rhythms.

The event brings in 400 to 500 people per concert. Attendees set up on the lawn and under the lakeside shelter.

"It's a good community building event," said Casey Conner, director of Black Mountain Recreation and Parks Department, who has worked with Park Rhythms for 13 years. Conner's family joins him in enjoying the event.

The event has been graced by the presence of popular bands such as the Carolina Chocolate Drops in past years.

Park Rhythms schedule for 2015

(Food vendors in parenthesis)

June 25: Crooked Pine Band, old-time/bluegrass

(Okie Dokies BBQ, Hey Hey Cupcake)

July 2: The 96.5 House Band, classic top hits

(Black-Eyed Susan Catering, Hey Hey Cupcake)

July 9: Atlas Road Crew, Southern fried rock

(Black Mountain Bistro, Norman's Ice Cream)

July 16: Dashboard Blue, dance grooves

(Pepperoni's Gourmet Pizza, Hey Hey Cupcake)

July 23: The Broadcast, soulful rock

(Appalachian Smoke BBQ, Carolina Pops)

July 30: Motownblue, soul and blues

(Black Mountain Bistro, Hey Hey Cupcake)

Aug. 6: Michael J. Stevens Quartet, jazz

(Gypsy Queen Cuisine, Carolina Pops)

Aug. 13: Ryan Perry Band, country hits

(Dark City Deli, Norman's Ice Cream)