Let's face the facts: for most, the days of summer vacation are long gone. Working long hours throughout the summer, however, doesn't mean fun can't be had on a weekly basis. Everyone needs time to let their hair down, and summer is a great time to do it.
Fortunately, our region is packed with live entertainment this summer, including acts that are family-friendly and free.
The following is a rundown of weekly concert series in the region:
Mansfield's Community Center Green will be rocking all season long with their free concerts each Thursday this month from 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. On Thurs., July 14, you can catch the rock/pop duo On Call Band, followed by Memphis Soul Spectacular on July 21 and youth-focused Kidsville Kuckoo Revue on July 28.
In Ellington, Arbor Park provides a home for live music acts, playing shows on Wednesday through August 14 (except for July 24). This week, at no charge, you can catch Off The Clock's classic rock sound, followed by shows from singer-songwriter Kenn Morr and Kenn Morr Band, The Score, led by Ellington's own Jeremy Banks, and a night of guitar and vocals with Paul Recker & Jim Harkin.
Those in the area can also enjoy Stafford's from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. on Sundays through August 14. This weekend, you can kick back with roots and traditional music from Coyote Grace, and then return for nights of jazz and more in the coming weeks.
The Manchester Band Shell is booked from now until the end of August with multiple free shows each week. If you stop by this week, you'll be able to dance along with the entire family to Kidsville Kuckoo Revue on Wed., July 13, take a trip back into the heyday of big band and swing with Sphinx Shriner's Band and finish the week off partying with Fiesta Del Norte.
South Windsor and West Hartford are each home to their own summer series as well. South Windsor is home to Rockville Bank's Summer Concert Series, which is held each Thursday through August 18. This week, the series features 80's rock performed by Darik and the Funbags. West Hartford's Elizabeth Park is just as busy, featuring . This week, you can head over and catch soulful r&b from Latanya Ferrell.
Windsor is home to its own summer series right on Windsor Green at Town Hall. Each Thursday this summer you can catch a new act for free. This week, you'll be able to catch Tirebiter Band, followed by a throwback to the mid-twentieth century with Nifty Fifties, Maestro Men, Farmington Valley Band and more.
Almost every night of the week is covered this summer, as Windsor Locks has . On July 19, you can hear classic rock and blues sounds from local band Evolutions. You'll also be able to be entertained by a 10-piece swing band, Simply Swing, on July 26, jam out to Windsor Locks' own Savage Brothers and relax with Caribbean Beach Bums in the coming weeks.
This weekend only, you'll have the opportunity to swing by the at Bushnell Park on July 15, 16 and 17. The free, three-day event that attracted 45,000 music lovers in 2010.