Tom Petty’s spirit rocked on at Wicker Memorial Park Thursday night. Tribute band Southern Accents performed as part of the North Township Summer Concert Series hosted by Trustee Frank J. Mrvan.
The 21 and over series kicked off in June with U2 cover band Without U2 and will continue every Thursday until September. This week’s band hails from Nashville but had quite a following in the Region.
Sharon Kienzle of Matteson had been wanting to see Southern Accents for a long time, having missed them when she was last in Nashville.
“It’s our first time here,” Kienzle said. “It’s beautiful here. We’re coming back for more.”
Megan Mirich of Lansing enjoys walking, roller blading, and riding bikes at Wicker Park. She and her friends saw the park signage advertising the show and were excited to see Southern Accents so close to home.
“We’ve never been here for a concert before, but it’s really nice and easy to get to. It’s easy to find a seat and it’s very affordable,” Mirich said.
“The ultimate goal is to provide affordable entertainment underneath the stars,” Frank J. Mrvan said. “We want to show off the park and add to the quality of life of the community.”
World-class entertainment isn’t far from Highland if you’re willing to make the short trip to Chicago, but it’s not always affordable. From the beginning, affordability was the goal. When the series kicked off eight years ago, it drew a hundred or so attendees. Now, the standard crowd numbers anywhere from 600 to 1,000.
One of those regulars, Fred Weber of Schererville, started attending the series because his wife said that they should do something fun this summer. They decided that they would spend Thursdays at the park.
“This is pretty darn good!” Weber said. “The band is excellent and the atmosphere’s great. At this price, you can’t go wrong.”
Thursday’s show featured all of Petty’s hits. As the show went on, the fans streamed to the front to dance and sing along with their favorites. The park erupted in cheers as the Southern Accents closed their first set with “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” which they dedicated to all the “beautiful women of Indiana.”
During the set break, park employees decided to write America’s name in the sky with a top-notch fireworks display in honor of the approaching Independence Day. The finale drew almost as many cheers as the band.
Although the fireworks were special for the holiday, the North Township Summer Concert Series will continue all summer long and will play host to bands covering the likes of Led Zeppelin (Kashmir), Green Day (St. Jimmy) and Pink Floyd (Echoes of Pompeii).
If you’re looking for great music and an affordable experience near home, check out the North Township Summer Concert Series every Thursday.
“If you want an affordable night out where you can enjoy great music, the summer weather, and an incredible atmosphere, come to Wicker Park,” Frank J. Mrvan said. “It’s where life is beautiful.”
5947 Hohman Avenue, Hammond, IN 46320
Visit Frank J. Mrvan, North Township Trustee / Wicker Memorial Park Partner Profile