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CHELSEA – The sidewalks in downtown Chelsea will be jam packed again this summer with the return of the Sound & Sights on Thursday Nights free concert series.
From 6:30-8:30 p.m. on every Thursday night (June 21-Aug. 30), a line-up of eight to ten musical acts, children’s entertainers and other attractions will perform at separate staged areas simultaneously in the downtown area. The series is the combined effort of the Sounds & Sights Committee, Chelsea Retail Advisory Council, downtown merchants, Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce and the Chelsea Center for the Arts. Major sponsors include Chelsea Community Foundation, Chelsea DDA, Chelsea Milling, and McKinley, Inc.
In addition to music performances, there will be a variety of children’s attractions and activities including face painters, jugglers, fire eaters, magicians and more. In addition, guided horse-drawn carriage rides will offer a relaxing and informative stroll through the historic neighborhoods of Chelsea. Back again this year is the juried Chelsea Art Market located at the Clocktower Complex parking lot on Main Street. The McKune Memorial Library will incorporate their new outdoor lawn amphitheater in this year’s line-up.
“The event just keeps evolving,” said co-organizer Craig Common, owner of the Common Grill, in a statement. “We had an overwhelming response at this year’s auditions, which has made for a fantastic line up. The library now has a stage site, the Clocktower has the Art Market and stages and we’re closing South Street to accommodate the expanded crowds.”
The music line-up features a broad spectrum of music genre from Celtic, folk, bluegrass, jazz, classical and a few recent winners in the Detroit Music Awards. Musicians were selected from a group of over 100 that auditioned, some from the far reaches of Oakland County and beyond. All performers are paid, a priority for organizers who all feel that artists should always be compensated for their work. Some of the more well-known performers include local radio host and performer Matt Watroba, along with a few local favorites such as the Chelsea House Orchestra, and the Royal Garden Trio.
“As I attend events and conferences across the state, I hear from so many people about the great art and music events in Chelsea,” said Jennifer Goulet, director of the Chelsea Center for the Arts and one of the series organizers, in a statement. “This is such a wonderful draw for our community. The Art Market will be expanded and we’re making room for more visitors to come and enjoy themselves.”
Stage locations will be placed throughout the downtown (Main Street area) and on select side street locations. Covered stage areas will be located at key spots on both Main street and Middle Street.
Kids activities will fill in between the entertainers. The open-air carriage rides will depart from Cranesbill Books on East Middle Street. Local resident and Civil War historian George Till, offers a historical narrative during the ride.
“Our goal is to make this event better each year,” Common said. “We’re all proud to be a part of this collaboration to the community, the local businesses and sponsors and the CCA.”
In case of inclement weather, the performers will move inside to the merchant nearest their performing area. Downtown retail businesses will accommodate the expected additional foot traffic and have committed to stay open late through the extent of the summer series. For more information, visit http://www.chelseafestivals.com or call the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce at (734) 475-1145.