By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE Now that spring has arrived, it won’t be long before another season of Music in the Park begins in Lester Prairie.
This will be the fourth season of the popular series that showcases local musicians in a relaxed outdoor setting.
Audrey Litzau, one of the organizers of Music in the Park, estimated the attendance for each of the shows to be about 175 people, some of whom travel from places well outside the immediate area.
She said when organizers first discussed the idea of having music in the park, they saw it as an opportunity for people in the community to get together for a fun evening of visiting and listening to music.
The events, hosted by the Lester Prairie Lions and American Legion Post 463 and Auxiliary, take place in the shelter at the 2nd Ave. Park in Lester Prairie. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.
Music is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday evenings May 22 through June 26.
Food and beverages are available for purchase from 6 to 7 p.m. during the concerts.
The events take place rain or shine. In the case of inclement weather, the events move to St. Paul Lutheran Church, 124 Maple St. N. in Lester Prairie.
Litzau said Hillard Klaustermeier usually takes care of booking the bands.
The 2018 schedule includes:
• May 22 - Lester Prairie-Holy Trinity High School Band and Mid-Minnesota Jazz Band, sponsored by the Prairie Arts Council and Plasti-Fab. Food (pulled pork sandwiches) provided by the Lester Prairie High School National Honor Society and Lester Prairie High School Student Council.
• May 29 - Cindy’s Concertina Band, sponsored by Paul McBride Funeral Chapel. Food (hot dogs and burgers) provided by the Lester Prairie Business Association.
• June 5 - Jim’s Brewers, sponsored by Holasek Flower Power Garden Center. Food (brats) provided by St. Paul Lutheran Church mission group.
• June 12 - Lowel S & Nancy B, sponsored by Prairie Dairy, Inc. Food (burgers on the grill) provided by RiteWay Conveyors, Inc.
• June 19 - Phyllis Hummel & Swinging Country, sponsored by Jilek Insurance. Food (pulled pork sandwiches) provided by D.S. Smith.
• June 26 - George’s Concertina Band, sponsored by Longhorn’s Burger House. Food (BBQs) provided by the Merry Prairie Garden Club.
Litzau said the Lester Prairie ambassadors have helped with the events in the past, and the McLeod County Dairy Princesses have helped on dairy night (which is set for June 12 this year).
Litzau noted that businesses that sponsor a band are given a chance to tell the audience a bit about their business. She said she has heard from attendees that they appreciate this because they have learned about businesses in their town.
In addition to music, there are prize drawings on each of the Tuesday evenings.
Local businesses have donated prizes for this purpose. In cases where cash is donated, prizes are awarded in Prairie Bucks so the money is spent in Lester Prairie to support local businesses.
Any individual or business that would like to donate a prize may contact Audrey Litzau at (320) 420-6631 or Wes Schmidt at (320) 237-2451.
Litzau said they hope to have donations in place by Wednesday, May 9. This will give volunteers from the Legion Auxiliary time to sort the donations so there are roughly the same number of prizes to be given out on each of the six Tuesdays.