During summer, America’s Dairyland transforms into a habitat of outdoor attractions and festivals. If you’re a music lover like me, there are some pretty huge music festivals to check out. Productions like Summer Fest, Rock USA, Country USA and Hodag bring the hottest music acts to Wisconsin.
Of course, considering that the bands on the bill are top draw, there is a fairly decent price tag attached to these outdoor concerts. What if you just want to enjoy some music, at a great outdoor venue, for free? You Know, one might want some quality music, tasty beverages and a lively congregation without dropping one hundred dollars or more. If your of this mindset, I’d like to suggest ‘Fridays on the Fox’ staged on the waterfront of the Fox River.
This past Friday, I brought Heidi to the gathering on the ‘City Deck’. The band slated was known as ‘Hip Pocket’. I never heard of them, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. As always, I left satisfied-if not a bit buzzed.
I’m driving through downtown Green Bay on Washington Street, the road that runs parallel to the Fox River, on an absolutely beautiful night. I can’t see the river from here, due to the businesses along its banks, but know a festive atmosphere lies on the other side of those buildings. I’m trying to find a parking spot close to the action. Due to the weather, it is proving to be a tough endeavor.
Finally after failing to find anything at the Adam’s street lot, I use the Cherry Street parking Ramp; as there is also a ramp on Pine Street. These Ramps are free after six and on weekends. Despite that fact, as we pull into our parking spot, we put our ticket in a safe place. Last summer, we misplaced our ticket and were charged full price. We’re determined to not let that happen tonight.
We descend what seems to be an endless flight of stairs and reach the street, shortly finding a packed ‘City Deck’ It’s about quarter after six and the band hasn’t started yet. So, I use the restrooms at Hagemeister Park, which isn’t a park but a bar and restaurant, and search for a beverage.
Actually the search wasn’t too difficult. There are beer tents along the waterfront and also Hagemeister’s outdoor bar. The prices are decent at $5.00 a can for local craft beers, hailing from different breweries in Green Bay. I know you’re thinking $5.00 a can isn’t particularly cheap, but considering the setting its not horrible.
There is a drawback if you want to purchase a brew at the beer tents-they’re cash only. Of course, Hagemeister’s outdoor bar offers a larger variety and has a debit reader. Yet, I prefer the beer tent because its within arms reach and I don’t have to walk through Hagemeister’s large outdoor dining area. Yes, there are tons of people dining on their patio tonight.
We find a cool place to sit. I don’t know if you call these benches, seats or what; but they’re fun. I fear too many beers and I might need a crane to remove me.
The band ‘Hip Pocket’ is bringing back some memories as I listen to them, sitting amongst the crowd. Most of the songs they’re playing, I haven’t seen Performed live before. It’s cool to see a horn section included in a rock band. They play classics from Huey Lewis, Chicago, Paul McCartney and more. Young and old are enjoying the tunes.
There’s nothing Raucous about the crowd, just a prime example of merriment incited by Green Bay natives. Many, were smart and brought their own bag chairs. I love the feeling here as I watch the boats pass along the river, see people wearing smiles and tap my foot to good music.
‘Fridays on the Fox’ is every Friday from 6pm-9pm and continues through July 19, check downtowngreenbay.com for a list of bands. If the event is canceled due to weather, it will be posted by 4pm. There is seating provided, however, bringing a bag chair is not a bad Idea.
I leave with maybe one too many beers in me. So I let Heidi drive, which she doesn’t mind. It was a successful Friday night and I hope to do it again!