BY MAGGIE BEAMGUARD, Insider Editor
Summer nights are full of sweet music in Seven Lakes West. The anticipated Summer Concert Series will kick off on Memorial Day Weekend with Reflections II and Mark McKinney.
SLW residents Jim Dixon and Natalee Birdsell work with the Events Committee to organize the annual series. They bring with them to the task a love of music and interest in supporting local bands, said Events Committee Chair Shannon Stites. They recruit the bands and make every effort to schedule the entertainment so it does not conflict with other similar events in the community.
The concert series has been a community staple for many years and is covered by the Events Committee’s slice of the larger SLW Homeowners’ Association budget. The series fosters a strong sense of community.
“They’re usually some of our most well attended events, and I think that’s because the space allows for many people to attend,” says Stites. “The concerts are for all ages. Because they’re at Johnson Point, a lot of kids like to come. They’ll swim and run around and play in the playground. It just kind of works for everybody.
“I don’t really have numbers, but if I had to guess I would say there’s usually between maybe 100 and 200 people there. And there’s usually a lot of boats out nearby with people enjoying themselves.”
Occasionally, weather has interfered with the concert plans. Concerts canceled by bad weather unfortunately are not able to be rescheduled because the bands typically keep tight schedules. Cancellations are announced on the SLW community website. Fortunately, that has been a rare occurrence.
“Usually it seems to work out,” says Stites. “We’ve had a few where we had to really watch the weather and make a call last minute.” And at least once a storm rolled in at the end and sent people scrambling for cover.
The concert series provides a forum for neighbors to get to know each other.
“I think it’s a really nice opportunity for people of all ages to get together and meet each other,” says Stites. “I know when we first moved here and my kids were little, that’s where we met people.”
Even if you aren’t into music, the event functions primarily as a social gathering.
“Most people bring their own drinks and their own picnic and have dinner,” Stites says. “And this year we’re encouraging people to come early and really do that — have a picnic and meet some of their neighbors before the music even starts.”
If you plan to attend, bring some food, drinks and towels or chairs to sit on and plan to try to meet new people. “Go with that intention of not just enjoying the music, but meeting your neighbors,” Stites invites.
The Summer Concert Series is open to all SLW residents and their invited guests.
Contact Maggie Beamguard at (910) 693-2496 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Concert Schedule
Sat. May 28, 4 p.m. – Reflections II and Mark McKinney
Sat. June 11, 6 p.m. – TNT
Sat. July 2, 5 p.m. (pre-fireworks) – Erik Hawks and Hard Luck
Sat. July 16, 6 p.m. – Rack and Pinion
Sat Aug 13, 6 p.m. – Autumn Nicholas
Sat. Sept 3, 6 p.m. – Paige Johnson and Erik Hawk