GRAFTON - Grafton’s Music in the Park has kicked off for another 14-week season of live music.

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Located at Grove Memorial Park in Grafton, the Music in the Park concert series invites community members to come out for a free concert every Thursday evening from 7–9 p.m. May 23 through Aug. 29. Peggy Brooks, who organizes Music in the Park, noted that she loves putting on the concerts every week, and she can’t wait to see this summer’s crowd grow.

“It’s been a labor of love,” Brooks said. “I just think it’s something that a family can do together. It’s just very cool and family-oriented. We just have a good time. We have a real good time.”

Brooks explained that she tries “very hard” to bring in a variety of bands from Grafton and the surrounding area. From The Gibson Girls to Outlaw Opry to Flip the Frog, they bring in different musicians every week to perform.

“The bands love it because they’re not at a party or bar scene, so people are actually listening and dancing and tapping their toes and enjoying themselves,” Brooks added. “Everybody brings their own lawn chair. You can bring snacks and beverages with you. It’s just really grown and I’m pretty proud of where we are.”

Brooks’s daughter Nikki usually starts off the night with 25 minutes of singing from 6:30–6:55 p.m. They then play the National Anthem, followed by the night’s featured band for two hours. Nikki ends the night by singing “Thank You for the Music” by ABBA, which she promised her father she would always do.

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Though people are encouraged to bring their own food and beverages, Got Faith Ministries gives away water, lemonade and snacks. Seed to Sewn sells t-shirts with the Music in the Park logo.

Brooks also organizes a 50/50 drawing every week. All money raised goes toward the maintenance of the City of Grafton’s big American flag on the river. Brooks explained that the Chamber of Commerce has already spent $2,000 on repairs for the flag this year, so the 50/50 drawing eases some of these costs.

The concerts themselves are free, thanks to donations given to the Music in the Park group from businesses and sponsors around Grafton. Brooks noted that Music in the Park advertises all of these businesses on banners at the concerts, and they encourage people to visit the shops and restaurants that have donated.

“Everything we do is by donation. People give anywhere from $50 to $1,000,” Brooks added. “We have four diamond sponsors that give $1,000 each and then people give what they can. Almost every business in Grafton has given either $100 up to $400 for these concerts. I try very hard to make sure we promote these businesses and we get their names out there and encourage people to patronize those businesses.”

The summer tradition has attracted a wide following, with a growing crowd every week. Brooks can’t wait to see how it continues to grow throughout the season, and she looks forward to getting to know all of the concert-goers who attend this summer’s shows.

“I can’t even guess how many people. I just know we’ve grown, and we grow every year and it’s really fun,” she said. “I’ve gotten to know the regulars and I look for them in their spot. It's kind of like church, everybody has their spot that they go to and it’s really fun to walk around and talk to people. I think that’s another thing. We make it personal.”

For more information about Music in the Park, visit the official Grafton’s Music in the Park Facebook page.

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