Community crowds, as seen in this Dispatch file photo of a previous Sounds of Summer concert, will not be gathering at the Columbus Riverwalk this summer for concerts. Photo by: Dispatch file photo
May 30, 2020 7:08:41 PM
What would have been a 13th summer of sunset concerts by the water at the Columbus Riverwalk has been canceled. Sounds of Summer, a series of four free outdoor concerts hosted by the Columbus Lowndes Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Columbus, won't take place due to concerns for community health during the COVID-19 outbreak. The decision was a difficult one to make.
"As always, safety is at the forefront of any event, thus we felt this was the best action to take," said Main Street Columbus Executive Director Barbara Bigelow. "We must think about the public, as well as our vendors, volunteers and entertainers. I am definitely saddened because this is one of my favorite events of the year."
Chamber of Commerce President Lisa James said, "With so many professional, collegiate and community-wide events being canceled, we felt it necessary to follow suit and make the safest decision for the members of the Columbus Lowndes community."
Musician Dawn Barham of Columbus is a veteran performer on the Sounds of Summer stage with the band Juke Joint Gypsies.
"It's a great local event for musicians and community, a great family event," she remarked. "It's very disappointing to see it not happening, but always the greater good and health of all our citizens should be the priority."
Barham applauds organizers for making the hard choices and for erring on the side of caution, "so that they're not putting any citizens, including musicians, at risk."
Sounds of Summer may be down, temporarily, but it is certainly not out.
Chamber of Commerce President Lisa James said, "We are already looking forward to next year's Sounds of Summer, and we're in talks now of how to make it bigger and better than ever."
Bigelow added, "We thank all of you who support this fabulous concert series and will look forward to seeing you, your family and your friends at next year's concerts."
Sounds of Summer is made possible through volunteers and sponsors. Sponsors for this summer's concerts were PACCAR, Edward Jones Investments, Neel-Schaffer, Nash FM 94.9, Shipp Family Dentistry, Bob's Paint and Auto Body, Kenneth Montgomery, Papa John's Pizza, and Golden Triangle Radiology. For the sixth year, the keynote presenting sponsor of 2020 concert series was CSpire.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.