David Aft: Thank you for a great Summer Music Series | columns

On July 29th, the Off The Rails Summer Music series 2022 ended with another wonderful community concert.

This year’s offerings ranged from country-influenced bluegrass to straight-ahead rock and roll. In between, we welcomed our local Creative Arts Guild Chamber Orchestra, the Conasauga Shakespeare Coalition, and a variety of wonderful local and regional musical performances. There was something on offer for all ages.

With just one exception, the rain stayed away long enough for attendees to enjoy an evening of entertainment and fellowship.

Series announcer Zack Adamson reminded everyone in attendance that a few years ago any of them would have been elsewhere — often in Chattanooga — but definitely not downtown Dalton. His words, a clear affirmation of the changes happening downtown, resonated with many who came downtown not just for the music, but made it a point to visit one of our local restaurants or breweries.

Series organizers remain committed to creating memories for Dalton’s young people that so many who grew up here in the past don’t have. Whether you’re seeing an up-and-coming music act like Nashville’s Colony House or just sliding down the grassy hills on either side of the Burr Park stage, each Friday night show offered a variety of wonderful experiences. The Summer Music Series has quickly become a Dalton tradition, regularly welcoming hundreds of visitors, some of whom travel from neighboring communities just to see what ‘all the action’ is about.

Burr Park and its new concession and toilet pavilion has been described by many as the heart of Dalton and for those who joined us it was easy to see why. Free family entertainment in a safe and wonderful environment is often hard to find, but not here.

Every Friday, concert-goers were reminded that these shows are not created by themselves, but with the support of many. A small team of organizers coordinate entertainment, logistics and facilities.

It is my pleasure to continue to be a member of this wonderful team.

Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who contributes to our success. Her generous gifts of time, talent and money have grown the series.

introduce sponsors

• Community Foundation Burr Park Arts Trust

• Dalton Convention and Visitors Bureau

• Dalton Utilities/Optilink

• Multi-layer floors

Pops in the Park present sponsors

• Mohawk Industries

• Textile rubber and chemical companies

organizer

• Barrett properties

• Believe Greater Dalton

• Coldwell banker Kinard Realty

• Dalton State College

• Hamilton Medical System

• Marketing Alliance Group

• Shaw Industries

• Starring Mathews

• Tom Durkan family

• Whitfield County NAACP

series organizers

• Amanda Brown, Creative Arts Guild

• Candace Eaton, Downtown Dalton Development Authority

• David Aft, Northwest Georgia Community Foundation

• Margaret Thigpen, Dalton Convention and Visitors Office

key partners

• Downtown Dalton Development Agency

• Creative Arts Guild

A special “out”

• Sara Murry, Creative Arts Guild

• Jim Sneary, Creative Arts Guild

• City of Dalton Parks and Recreation

• City of Dalton Police Department

The Off The Rails Summer Music Series would not exist without its fans. It remains a thrill to see people gathering in Burr Park, armed with their lounge chairs, blankets and smiling faces. We are very happy that you have decided to share your Friday with us.

Though last Friday’s show marked the “official” end of the Summer Music Series, fans have the opportunity to gather downtown on September 16 for a final Friday night show. The “End of the Rails” offer starts at 5:30 p.m., the headliner starts at 6:30 p.m. The leads are Crawford and Power, who opened earlier this year at the Dalton Convention Center for Travis Tritt.

Many other events are planned for Burr Park in the coming weeks including more concerts, the annual Dalton Civitan Brewer’s Festival and holiday celebrations and Christmas tree lighting. I’m confident Jeanne Burr would be so proud of “her” park and its dramatic contribution to our community and self.

The series will return next June with even more great music and, as always, a few surprises! In the meantime, if you have great ideas for next year’s show, or would like to volunteer or contribute financially, we’d love to hear from you. You can reach us through the Burr Park Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you!

See you next year — thank you for making Burr Park Northwest Georgia’s premier outdoor arts and entertainment venue and the Off the Rails Summer Music Series your destination!

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