Summer concerts are in the works for Bay City's parks

The musical shows will go on in Bay City this summer.

Several groups are planning concerts and events to keep Bay City dancing and singing in the parks during the summer of 2024. 

"There are a lot of people working hard to make sure things are happening," says Kellie Rupp, Marketing Director for the Bay City Downtown Management Board and Downtown Development Authority. "It's going to be a fun summer."

Wednesdays in the Park Summer Concert Series 

Rupp has seven concerts scheduled for this summer, but is working on getting a few more acts lined up for the popular Wednesday night concerts held in Wenonah Park.

Rupp won't say exactly who will perform but hopes to announce in early April the first concert, which is set for Wed., June 19. After that, Rupp plans to release news of one concert at a time hoping to build excitement. 

"We're still in the planning stages," Rupp says. "We wanted to make sure July was full first because it's the core month. June is still school and people are on vacation in August."

She added admission to the concerts will be by donation, as it has been in the past. (If you want to donate to the program in advance, click here.)

Young People's Summer Series

The popular youth series also continues this summer. Performers geared toward kids take the stage in Wenonah Park at 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays. Rupp says she's also lining up performers for this series.

The Friday at the Falls series moves out of the Third Street Waterfall Park and into the street at Center Avenue and Saginaw Street. Organizers hope the move makes it easier to hear performers. (Photo Credit: Ashley Brown)Feet on the Street and Friday at the Falls

On Friday nights, you will find live music in Downtown Bay City beginning at 4 p.m.

Rupp says the downtown organization moved the Friday in the Falls concert series out of Third Street Waterfall Park and to the corner of Saginaw Street and Center Avenue.

That puts Friday in the Falls in the heart of the Feet on the Street district. Last year, some performers had to compete with music coming from bars and restaurants near the Waterfall Park.

Moving it a few blocks away solves that problem. Plus, it lines up nicely with performers at downtown eateries such as Old City Hall and MI Table.

Friday at the Falls runs from 4 to 6 p.m. Most of the bars and restaurants schedule their performers to begin after 6 p.m.

Feet on the Street runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The closure includes Third Street from the alley east of Water Street to Saginaw Street; Center Avenue from Saginaw Street to Washington Avenue; and Saginaw Street from Center Avenue to Fifth Street.

Vince Stuart – who owns Vinny's Uptown Grill, Vinny's Pizzeria, and the Stock Pot – is planning a series of free concerts on Thursdays in Uptown near the fountain. (Photo Courtesy of Uptown Bay City)Thursdays at Uptown

Vince Stuart, owner of three local restaurants including two in Uptown Bay City, is talking to performers from throughout the region about being part of Thursdays at Uptown.

The free performances take place from 6 to 8 p.m. every Thursday from June 13 to Aug. 29.

Stuart says he has enough acts booked to keep the music flowing near the fountain in Uptown, but he hasn't plugged all the performers into specific dates. He hopes to do that and announce the complete schedule within a few weeks.

The acts who already have committed include tributes to Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, the Tri-City Chorus, and several pianists. 

"If there's anybody who wants to perform they can contact me," adds Stuart. 

To volunteer to perform, call Stuart at (989) 225-4699 and leave a message.

When the calendar is finalized, it will be publicized on the Uptown Grill Facebook page and the Uptown Bay City Facebook page.

Stuart owns Vinny's Uptown Grill, 3 E. Main St.; Vinny's Pizzeria, 168 Uptown Drive; and Stockpot Diner, 1007 Washington Ave.
The Third Annual Sixities Fest takes place on Midland Street near Brooklyn Boyz Pizza on Sat., June 15. (Photo Credit: Scott Baker)Third Annual Sixties Fest, June 15

Cosmic Rose, a band in the style of Grateful Dead, performs under the stars during the Third Annual Sixties Fest on Sat., June 15 in the Midland Street Business District.

The event includes pop-up vendors, food, and adult beverages. Bring your lawn chair. Music begins at 7 p.m.

Brooklyn Boyz Pizza, 507 E. Midland St., is organizing Sixties Fest.

Bay City Music Festival, June 21-22

Country artist Travis Tritt and rapper Flo Rida headline the Bay City Music Festival (formerly known as the Bay City Country Music Festival). 

Rida, who performs on Fri., June 21, is best known for songs including "Low," "Whistle," "My House," "Wild Ones," and "Good Feeling."

Tritt, the Sat., June 22 performer, is best known for "It's a Good Day to be Alive," "Here's a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)," "T-R-O-U-B-L-E," "I'm Gonna Be Somebody," and "I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair."

People gather in Uptown Bay City to enjoy the Bay City Fireworks Festival in 2016.The Bay City Fireworks Festival, July 4-6

The annual Fireworks Festival, a tradition in Bay City since 1962, takes place July 4, 5, and 6 this year. Music, a carnival, food vendors, and, of course, fireworks each night are part of the three-day event. The festival takes place in both Veterans Memorial and Wenonah parks.

The musical highlights are performances by Slaughter on Thurs., July 4, and Great White on Fri., July 5. 

Slaughter's greatest hits include "Real Love," "Fly to the Angels," "The Wild Life," "Spend My Life," and "Days Gone By."

Great White is known for "Stick It," "Rock Me," "Face the Day," "Save Your Love," and "Once Bitten, Twice Shy."

The festival schedule and tickets are available online.

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Read more articles by Kathy Roberts.

Kathy Roberts, a graduate of Central Michigan University, moved to Bay City in 1987 to start a career in the newspaper industry. She was a reporter and editor at the Bay City Times for 15 years before leaving to work at the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Covenant HealthCare, and Ohno Design. In 2019, she returned to her storytelling roots as the Managing Editor of Route Bay City. When she’s not editing or writing stories, you can find her reading books, knitting, or visiting the bars of Bay County. You can reach Kathy at