It’s time to pack your lawn chairs and picnic baskets and get out and listen to the music at several free and low-cost outdoor music series this summer.
Three area wineries and two Ames city parks will host live music series this spring and summer.
Prairie Moon Winery and Vineyards in Ames, Snus Hill Winery in Madrid and The Cellar in White Oak near Cambridge all offer live music on Sundays, with Snus also hosting bands on Friday nights.
Roosevelt Park is the site of Roosevelt’s Summer Sunday concerts. Bandshell Park is the site of Ames on the Half Shell on Friday evenings in June and concerts by the Ames Municipal Band every Thursday in June and July.
Ames Municipal Band begins the 2022 season on Thursday
Simon Estes is more than an internationally renowned bass-baritone – he’s an integral part of the Iowa music scene.
Estes often performs with the Ames Municipal Band at one of its concerts each season, and this year he is the Thursday soloist for the concert series’ opening night.
After:Learn more about Simon Estes from our 2017 interview
Estes grew up in Centerville and rose to fame from humble beginnings as the son of a coal miner and the grandson of a slave. He overcame poverty and racism to become one of the most popular opera singers in the world.
“Growing up, I never dreamed that I would go further east than maybe Chicago,” Estes told the Ames Tribune in 2017. I haven’t invited myself yet.
The Town Band is under the direction of Michael Golemo, who is in his 20th year leading the Ames Town Band. He is also a group director at Iowa State University.
Hour-long concerts are free and begin at 8 p.m. at Bandshell Park, located at the corner of Duff Avenue and Sixth Street.
The concerts will feature popular music, light classical music, hymns and marches, as well as film and Broadway music.
Although there are a few seats in the park, spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets.
The 2022 guest soloists are:
- June 2 — Ames Town Council Evening. Vocal soloist, Simon Estes.
- June 9 — Flag Day Ceremony. Vocal soloist, Mindy Phomvisay. Solo trumpet, Justin Smiley-Oyen.
- June 16 — Vocal soloist, Cathy Compton.
- June 23 — Vocal soloist, Katharine Hensley. Trombone soloist, Nathan Dishman.
- June 30 — Patriotic concert and recognition of veterans. Vocal soloist, Chad Sonka.
- July 7 — Vocal soloist, Chris Johnson. Saxophone soloist, Mike Giles.
- July 14 — Vocal soloist, Miles Morgan.
- July 21 — Vocal soloist, Jennifer Rodgers.
- July 28 — Vocal soloist, Denver Bierman.
Ames on the Half Shell is “happy hour for a good cause”
The Ames Jaycees host Ames on the Half Shell with live music at Bandshell Park every Friday until the end of June.
The Jaycees dubbed the event “happy hour for a good cause” because proceeds are used to support group projects and community events.
Admission is $5. Food and drink are available for purchase, with different food trucks present each week. Children are welcome at family events as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
Concerts take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Friday, with the following lineup of bands and food trucks.
- June 3 — Stranger than fiction. Food truck, Macubana.
- June 10 — TDSS Project. Food Truck, Weinie Wonderland & Smoke Shack.
- June 17 — The Rag Doll Incident. Food trucks, Carlos Quesadillas and Crazy Lou’s.
- June 24 — Burnin’ Sensations. Food trucks, Smiles & Gyros and Kona Ice.
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Admission to Prairie Moon comes with sangria
Live musicians perform on the Corn Crib Stage at Prairie Moon Winery and Vineyards every Sunday afternoon throughout the summer.
Admission is $5, which includes a glass of sangria. There’s wine, beer, sangria, and soft drinks for sale, as well as brick-oven pizzas and charcuterie boards for hungry spectators. Visitors can also bring their own food and soft drinks, but outside alcohol is not permitted.
The winery is located north of Ames at 3801 W. 190th St.
The family concerts take place from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with the following line-up of artists.
- June 5 — Opus Taylor
- June 12 — Burning Sensations
- June 19 — Babers
- June 26 — Larry Myer
- July 10 — Vinyl Vagabonds
- July 17 — Jesse and the Healers
- July 24 — Dan Jones and Friends
- July 31 — Ryne Doughty
- August 7 — Burning Sensations
- August 14 – Vannesa Band
- August 21 — Piano Duo
- August 28 – Old School
- September 4 – Stranger Than Fiction
- September 11 — Emile
- September 18 – Vinyl Vagabonds
- September 25 – Damon Dotson
After:5 fun things to do in and around Ames this weekend
Snus Hill Winery offers live music on Fridays and Sundays
Snus Hill Winery offers free admission to its outdoor summer concerts, which take place from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Fridays and 2-5 p.m. on Sundays.
The cellar has a variety of wines, beers, sodas, and water for sale, and there’s often a food truck on site during concerts. Food and non-alcoholic beverages from outside are allowed, but do not bring alcohol from outside.
Snus Hill is located at 2183 320th St., Madrid.
The cellar will be closed to the public this weekend but will resume with concerts on June 10.
- June 10 — Soul Seekers
- June 12 — Jimmy the Weasel
- June 17 — Old School
- June 19 — Shrove Tuesday
- June 26 — Burning Sensations
- July 1 – The Rag Doll Incident
- July 3 — The Cherry Pickers
- July 8 – Soul Seekers
- July 10 — iNFUZiON
- July 15 – Nice Bangs
- July 17 — Burning Sensations
- July 24 — Old School
- July 29 – Kings of Drama
- July 31 — Vinyl Vagabonds
- August 5 – Stranger Than Fiction
- August 7 – Soul Seekers
- August 14 — Tropical Party with the steel drum group Tropical Steel
- August 19 — iNFUZiON
- August 21 — Burning Sensations
- August 28 – Slipstream
- September 4 – The Cherry Pickers
- September 11 – Vinyl Vagabonds
- September 18 — Burning Sensations
Roosevelt’s Summer Sundays offer free concerts at City Park
Now in its 19th season, Roosevelt’s Summer Sundays are free concerts held in Roosevelt Park each Sunday from 7-8:30 p.m. through the end of August.
Located at Ninth Street and Roosevelt Avenue, Ames City Park was the playground of Roosevelt Elementary School before the school closed about 20 years ago.
When the school closed, the Friends of Roosevelt Park asked the city to keep the green space as a park. The nonprofit group supports the Roosevelt Summer Sundays series through donations. Voluntary donations are also collected during concerts.
Alcohol and tobacco are not permitted in the park, but spectators are encouraged to bring food and non-alcoholic beverages.
The rain location is 130 S. Sheldon Ave.
- June 5 — Vinyl Vagabonds
- June 12 — Avey Grouws Band
- June 19 — Sumpin’ Doo
- June 26 — Randy Burk and the Prisoners
- July 3 – Slice the Sky
- July 10 — Molly Nova & the Hawk with Bryce Janey
- July 17 — David Zollo and the Body Electric
- July 24 — Funks
- July 31 – The Soul Seekers
- August 7 – King Wylde
- August 14 – Iowa No Mountain Boys
- August 21 – Son Peruchos
- August 28 – Bob Dorr & Friends with Jeff Petersen
After:Ames Musician King Wylde Was ‘Artist of the Month’ for May 2021, Talks ‘Flawless’ EP
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The Cellar at White Oak features a Sunday music series
Located in the Cambridge countryside, the Cellar at White Oak is hosting a Sunday Music Series this summer, with bands playing from 4-7pm.
Founded in 2015 by John Barber and Barb Hokel, the winery’s address is 15065 NE White Oak Drive.
Wine, sangria, beer, soft drinks and food will be available for purchase. Outside food and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted, but outside alcohol is prohibited.
In case of bad weather, the concerts will take place indoors.
The cellar opens at 1 p.m. on Sunday for its normal opening hours. $5 cover charge starts at 3:00 p.m.
- June 5 — Avey Grouws Band
- June 12 — INFUSION
- June 19 — Royce Johns
- June 26 — Old School
- July 17 — Ritch Henderson & MarDe Brooks
- July 24 — Avey Grouws Band
- August 7 – The Sons of Gladys Kravitz
- August 28 – Cover That