What could be more small-town Iowa at its best on a fine summer evening than a band concert on the courthouse lawn --- with at least two Karl L. King marches? Free popcorn, lemonade and ice water, too.
The annual summer concert series opened Thursday night with a modest, but appreciative, audience --- and will continue on the square at 7 p.m. Thursdays, June 8, 15 and 22. On June 29, the concert will move to the Lucas County Historical Society Museum campus for a 7 p.m. "Peanut Day" appearance on the patio. The series will conclude back on the square over the July 4th weekend. In case of rain, the courthouse concerts move to Johnson Auditorium.
The series is underwritten by the Vredenburg Foundation --- so come on down, and bring your friends and neighbors, children --- and well-behaved dogs --- too. The setting is the Larry Clark Memorial Gazebo, dedicated during 2000.
Thursday's audience was divided into thirds. Many of us parked ourselves on the wrought iron benches that circle the courthouse.
A somewhat larger third brought along their own lawn chairs and deployed on the grass in the shade.
Others arrived early enough to find parking places facing the bandstand, rolled the windows down and enjoyed the music from the comfort of their vehicles.
There was a surprise appearance Thursday night by two toddlers in the crowd who escaped their supervisors and made an unexpected but not unwelcome appearance on stage.
And this dog, for better or worse, was more interested in popcorn than music.
For those interested, I'm leading brief walking tour of the square each evening before the concerts at 6:30 p.m. We'll cover a different aspect each week --- the first and, when still standing, earliest buildings next week, on the 22nd. Just meet at the northeast corner of the courthouse.