Local News

St. Clair doubles down on outdoor music concerts

Photo courtesy of the band. Cabaret Boreale plays Riverview Plaza Park in St. Clair July 12.

By Jim Bloch

If you cannot hear the peals of live music in city of St. Clair this summer, you might want move out of your basement and into the light of evening.

The city’s recreation department kicks off its annual summer concert series in the riverfront Palmer Park on Friday, June 14, 7-9 p.m. with Darren Hagel performing a solo tribute to Elvis Presley. Hagel, traditionally a big draw, has performed the summer series for nearly two decades.

The Detroit Retro Society plays a variety of classic soul, rock and pop tunes Friday, June 21.

“Their five-piece band will highlight Michigan music, so you’ll hear Motown, maybe Madonna, maybe Eminem,” said Trice Hawkins, recreation director.

The series takes a pause for the two weekends framing July 4, returning Friday, July 12 with Cabaret Boreale in Riverview Plaza Park.

“The county’s Showmobile will already be set up in the plaza for July 4, so we’re doing the concert there,” said Hawkins.

The band “unites musical artistry with a transporting vintage aesthetic,” according to its website. “Old jazz classics and contemporary favorites alike are re-imagined with old world flair and captivating theatricality.”

The action returns to Palmer Park Friday, July 19 with the Rick Lieder Band playing yacht rock in the tradition of Michael McDonald, Loggins and Messina and Hall and Oates.

“Many thanks to all those individuals and businesses that provided support to the Summer Music Series,” said Hawkins.

The Community Foundation of St. Clair County is the presenter of the summer concert series. Sponsors include AAA Michigan – The Huffmaster Insurance Agency, Jim and Lea Bier, Her’s Boutique, Norbert Alexander, Stanley Hirt, Murphy Inn, Northstar Bank, Doug and Amy Reichle, St. Clair Financial Group and St. Clair Realty, Inc. Patrons include Doris Fulton, Dan Lockwood and The Voyageur. Donors include Barbara Ballew, Phil Lundman, John and Sharon Mertz, Patricia Simons and the St. Clair Art Association.

Rockin’ the Plaza

If those concerts don’t sate your appetite for live music, head over to the courtyard in Riverview Plaza immediately after the shows for more music.

The St. Clair Chamber of Commerce presents a jam-packed schedule of live music in the plaza all summer. The shows began in mid-May and have expanded to four days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays; a number of concerts will also be held in Rotary Park on the Pine River. (For details, visit (https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=426596816783808&set=pcb.426450610131762.)

“We work together,” said Hawkins. “They have amended their schedule so that their bands start later, at 9 p.m., after our concerts in Palmer Park.”

After Darren Hagel’s Elvis show June 14, head to the plaza to hear Los Gringos.

After the Detroit Retro Society June 21, stroll to the plaza to listen to Alter Ego.

Before the Cabaret Boreale concert in the plaza July 12, catch Ryan Scott in Rotary Park starting at 5 p.m. After the cabaret, stick around in the plaza for Los Gringos.

Listen to Rick Flagg in Rotary Park starting at 5 p.m. July 19, then hear Rick Lieder in Palmer Park 7-9 p.m. Dawn Til Dusk wraps up the night back in the plaza,

Car show and a movie

Other events sponsored by the recreation department include the 22nd annual River Classic Car Show, Saturday, July 13, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. in Palmer Park, and the outdoor screening of the family movie “Migration,” Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 7:30 p.m. There will be live music by Branden Pavlov at 6 p.m. preceding the movie and free popcorn.

All of the events are free.

“We’re excited about the summer,” said Hawkins.

Jim Bloch is a freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. Contact him at bloch.jim@gmail.com. 

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