by Steve Chapman
Special to The Mail
Nights have turned chilly, crowds have waned, and football season has started. It’s the end of the summer, right? Not quite. The warm season officially ends a week later, but Summerdaze, an annual free concert, will help say “goodbye” Sunday.
In its fourth year, Summerdaze has moved from the beginning of summer to the end. “It’s quieter this time of year, and the date worked better for the bands with their tour schedules,” Lindsay Sutton, co-producer of the event, said.
The last great party of the season, Summerdaze is a celebration of local music. Six bands will play the free music festival, which runs from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, outdoors at the Salida SteamPlant plaza, 220 W. Sackett Ave.
A family-friendly event, the concert features several familiar faces and a few new ones.
The concert schedule, designed by Sutton and co-producer Chris Nasca, is intended to appeal to all demographics and includes a wide variety of musical styles, from punk to blues to outlaw country.
Celebrating local talent is only half the mission of the event, Sutton said. Showcasing the SteamPlant, the beach and the sculpture gardens is also an important goal. “Families can play on the beach while listening, and last year we had people rafting in and out for the bands,” Sutton said.
Summerdaze has evolved from a small gathering of Arkansas Valley groups to this year’s riverside, full-day showcase. “We wanted to celebrate our great local music scene,” Sutton said. “The collection of talent here is pretty stellar for a town this small, so we wanted to show off area musicians on one stage.”
Kicking off 2019 Summerdaze at noon is Smeltertown, a five-piece group playing Americana and old-time bluegrass. Following at 1:15 p.m. is Big Horn, a four-piece band playing punk, ska, outlaw country and gypsy jazz.
New to this year’s concert is Sweet Beets, the duo of Bonnie Culpepper and Scotlyn Srodes. Local favorites Blue Recluse, featuring vocalist Shawntel Royale, takes the stage at 3:45 p.m. to belt out blues and high-energy dance tunes.
Roundhouse Assembly, longtime players in the valley, start the evening at 5 p.m. with jam band classics. Rounding out Summerdaze is Mo’Champipple & the Miso Horns who play from 6:45-8 p.m.
In addition to a full day of local music, Summerdaze offers a cash bar and a food truck.
Salida SteamPlant donated the space for the free concert. “They’ve been wonderful to work with on this. The SteamPlant definitely sees the value of celebrating music in Salida,” Sutton said.
A 30-minute break is scheduled between bands. In case of rain, the concert will move indoors.