WAYNESBURG – When the Lions Club of Waynesburg started its summer series of free concerts three years ago, they scheduled them for the Greene County Fairgrounds.
According to Eleanor Chapman, the club’s fundraiser coordinator, the organizers weren’t sure how big a crowd there would be or whether there would be enough parking, so they opted for the fairgrounds, which has plenty of room for both.
However, two of the concerts the first year were scheduled for times when the fairgrounds needed the venue for other events. So, the Lions decided to move the two concerts in question to Lions Club Park behind the Aquatic Center off Route 21.
“People said they enjoyed the concerts at our park so much we decided to hold all of them there for seasons two and three – except for the Fabulous Hubcaps, who will play at the Waynesburg Central High School auditorium,” Chapman said.
The reason for the different venue is the large audience the Hubcaps draw and because the band makes costume changes during their show. At the park, the bands perform in the largest of three pavilions, which holds about 140 with additional room outside where people can sit on lawn chairs they might bring along.
Because the Hubcaps bring in as many as 600 to 700 fans, the pavilion at Lions Club Park is just too small. That’s why they will open the 2018 summer concert series from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Monday, June 4 at the Waynesburg Central High School auditorium.
All of the remaining 7 concerts will start at 5:30 p.m. on seven Tuesdays throughout the summer at Lions Club Park.
From Owings Mills, Maryland, near Baltimore, the Hubcaps got their start in 1974 and travel around the country in a ’57 Ford Skyliner performing oldies and classic rock everywhere from county fairs to the White House. Locally, they play the Fayette County Fair almost every summer.
According to Lions Club spokesperson Nelson Fox, the band takes pride in doing impersonations of pop stars such as Elvis, Little Richard, Tina Turner, Connie Francis, Whitney Houston, Elton John, Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra and more.
To bring talented performers like the Hubcaps to Greene County for the free summer concert series, the Lions budget runs somewhere between $8,000 and $10,000, depending on the groups they bring in.
“We try to pick bands we’ve personally heard before and try to mix musical genres like country, rock, jazz and oldies,” Chapman said. “We also pass out surveys at our last concert asking the audience for feedback and suggestions.”
While the concerts are free of charge, donations are accepted. Most of the funding, however, comes from businesses, patrons and Lions Club members themselves. This year and last, the Greene County Tourist Promotion also helped out with a $500 grant.
Additional funding comes from the sale of concert T-shirts, a 50-50 drawing, and concessions such as hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and soda, although people are permitted to bring along their own picnic basket.
“The concert series is good family entertainment,” Chapman said. “There’s even an area for the children to play in during the concerts. It makes for a nice evening out where you can buy $1 hot dogs, listen to great music and enjoy the summer weather.”
The schedule for the 2018 Summer Lions Club Concert Series is as follows:
n June 4: The Fabulous Hubcaps – classic oldies;
n June 12: Chanler Bailey Steel Drums – Caribbean music;
n June 19: Tomorrow’s News – classic and recent rock;
n June 26: Dan Baker group – jazz;
n July 10: Yesterday’s Moments – oldies, country, rock;
n July 17: Pittsburgh Banjo Band – 1920s jazz/Dixieland;
n July 26: True Blue– country; and
n July 31: Luke Schroyer – contemporary music.
For more information about the 2018 Summer Lions Club Concert Series, call 724-986-4934.