RIDGE HISTORY PARK KICKS OFF FREE SUMMER CONCERT SERIES
Written by Ballzer on May 13, 2022
When Clay Riness became the Park Director of Ridge History Park in Middle Ridge, WI, his first big project was to put together a free community concert series. That goal comes to fruition this summer, starting this Sunday and continues through October, with shows the 2nd Sunday of the month. We caught up with Clay to learn more about the park and their upcoming events.
Ridge History Park is located right off Hwy 33, 20 miles East of La Crosse, just past Newburg Corners. (Their physical address is N1794 Korn Clements Road Bangor, WI 54614) Clay said to look for the big steam engine 😉
The free concerts will be held at the park the second Sunday of each month May through October from 2-4 p.m. Weather permitting, they’re all outdoors, but will be moved indoors to the visitor center if Mother Nature gives them a challenge.
This coming Sunday, May 15, is the official kickoff with Eddie Allen, singer, songwriter and performer from Trempealeau. Allen did a concert there last year, which was very successful, so they’re looking forward to having him back.
Sunday, June 12 will feature an old friend of Riness, Carol Montag, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Riness explained, “she comes from that Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Eva Cassidy, John Denver, James Taylor sort of background and so she’ll be playing some original and contemporary folk music.”
Sunday, July 10, will feature a performance from Under Paris Skies. Riness described their music, for those unfamiliar, as a blend vintage swing, Old French bistro, and cabaret music.
Sunday, August 14, Andy Hughes will be performing. Most locals know Hughes as the from local reggae legends, TUGG but Riness was quick to add that Hughes is also a classic country music fan, and especially Johnny Cash.
Sunday, September 11 is Ridge History Park’s annual Ridge Fest, one of their largest events of the year featuring the local group Sapsuckers, playing everything from hillbilly to Nashville pop and original country original music.
The last concert of the series will be on Sunday, October 9 with Luke Callen, a singer-songwriter from the Twin Cities area.
After the concert series, there’s more on tap at Ridge History Park. They’re hosting an old time square dance on October 15, which Riness added is his birthday. No experience is necessary to join in the fun. “We have a hot three piece band coming from down near Chicago and a caller that is known pretty much around the globe. She’s willing to take anybody and teach them the dances right on the floor.” Admission for the square dance is $10.
Looking ahead to fall they’re hosting a Ridge Kids Halloween party the afternoon of October 29th with lots of activities for little kids.