EDWARDSVILLE - City Park will once again be brimming with fun opportunities for all ages this summer, courtesy of the Edwardsville Parks & Recreation Department’s long running Arts in the Park series of free events. The annual series features concerts, movie nights, children’s art, theater, opera and other family-friendly occasions.

“City Park is always a great place to visit, but every Thursday through Sunday in the summer it’s doubly fun,” Mayor Art Risavy said. “Our Parks & Recreation Department offers an exciting and entertaining assortment of free options for all ages year after year.”

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The Edwardsville Route 66 Festival officially kicks off City Park’s summer series, but once it’s over, the regular lineup gets underway at City Park, 101 S. Buchanan Street. There are Friday night concerts, a children’s art program on Saturday mornings, and movies in the park one Saturday night each month. August will feature two special Friday night productions: a Shakespeare in the Park traveling play and an Opera Edwardsville performance. In addition to the Arts in the Park events, one Sunday each month also sees the Edwardsville Symphony take the bandstand, while Thursday nights belong to the Edwardsville Municipal Band.

The Friday concert series kicks off on June 14 with Steve Ewing. Other scheduled June performers include Butch Wax and the Hollywoods and Lustre Lights. July will feature Hudson and the Hoo Doo Cats, Peebles and the Moonlighters, and Dueling Pianos. All concerts begin at 8 p.m.

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The Edwardsville Arts Center is once again teaming with the Parks and Recreation Department to present children’s art activities on Saturday mornings. Each 90-minute session will begin at 9 a.m. Scheduled dates include June 15, 22 and 29; and July 13, 20 and 27.

Bring a blanket and catch a movie under the stars in the cinematic City Park setting one Saturday each in June, July, August and September. The fun begins Saturday, June 22, with a showing of “Lilo and Stitch.” The July 27 movie will be “Wonka”; the August 24 movie will be “Despicable Me”; and the September 14 movie will be “Beethoven.” Movies start at dusk; follow the Parks & Recreation Department’s Facebook page for specific times closer to each scheduled movie. Shakespeare in the Park’s traveling caravan will once again appear in Edwardsville’s City Park, this year with “The Tempest.” This special free theatrical performance is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, August 16.

Opera Edwardsville also will be back in City Park with both a children’s show – “Little Red Riding Hood” at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 13, in the Edwardsville Public Library – and a bandstand performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday, August 23.

Rounding out the summer will be concerts from the Edwardsville Municipal Band and the Edwardsville Symphony. The Municipal Band’s summer concerts began June 6, and continue at 8 p.m. every Thursday through August 22. The Edwardsville Symphony will be in City Park one Sunday a month through September, and will feature a guest dance company or artist prior to each performance. Those performances will begin at 6:30 p.m. on June 30, July 28, August 25 and September 22.

The Arts in the Park programs are made possible by the City’s Parks & Recreation Department with the generous support of local sponsors. Find more details at: www.cityofedwardsville.com/artsinthepark

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