Allerton concert series to return in 2014
MONTICELLO — The return of the Friday night Concert in the Park series at Allerton Park has drawn enough patrons that organizers have already announced it will be renewed for 2014.
Derek Peterson, associate director of Allerton Park and Retreat Center, made the announcement at the Aug. 2 concert that featured two bluegrass bands.
"These concerts have been so successful this year we have decided to continue them into next year, so there will be a 2014 concert series," Peterson told a crowd of about 550, the largest yet this year.
He also said the series will expand from seven to 10 concerts next year.
"In July and August we'll probably have an additional concert, and probably add a kids concert sometime, and that will held in the (Allerton Music) Barn," he said.
One of the sponsors of the concert series is the University of Illinois Employees Credit Union, and vice president of business and community development Susan Toalson said she was not surprised that large crowds were turning out for the events.
"We think it can become central Illinois' answer to Ravinia," Toalson said, referencing the large Chicago-area musical venue. "When we heard the vision of what Allerton wanted to present through the concert series, we knew we wanted to be a part of it."
She said she was confident the credit union would renew its sponsorship, but official action had not taken place.
The last two 2013 concerts will feature swing music from the University of Illinois Concert Band on Sept. 6 and polka music by Drei Dicke Deutscher on Oct. 4. Concerts run from 6 to 8 p.m.
Crowds have increased for each first Friday concert this year, starting with 75 for April's inaugural event.
There is a suggested donation at the door, and food is also sold. Those attending should bring lawn chairs or blankets to spread on the grass.
More information is available at http://www.allerton.illinois.edu or by calling 333-3287.
The Allerton Music Barn Festival is scheduled for Sept. 19-22.