By Timothy Cox
Concrete was poured this morning along Celina's lakeshore to serve as a new stage for the city's summertime concert in the parks series.
The first concert is set for Memorial Day weekend.
This will mark the second straight year of various concerts on the former Hawk property, the tract of land between Northshore Park and Mercelina Park. The series was relaunched last year after a 10-year hiatus. Fourteen shows are planned for this summer, said Christopher Mohler, a Celina City Council member who helps organize the performances.
Materials for the concrete slab were all donated to the city, Safety-Service Director Jeff Hazel said. He estimated the donation to be worth $3,000 or so.
A similar slab was poured west of the new one last spring but crowds tended to occupy only the left side of the stage area to avoid the sun, Mohler said. That slab also was paid for with donations and will remain in place for use during other lakefront events, including the Lake Festival and the Governors Cup regatta races. The new slab was poured on a mound of soil that raises it about three feet.
"We're experimenting a little bit," Mohler said.
This summer's concert series begins May 29 at 6:30 p.m. when Sweetwater, a group of female folk singers, performs. Twelve of this summer's concerts are slated for Sunday evenings with two Saturday performances. Separately, several more bands will play during the Freedom Days community picnic being organized for Independence Day weekend by local veterans organizations.
In the event of rain, the concerts will be held in the auditorium at the Celina Education Complex.
The entire schedule of summer performances will be released soon, Mohler said.