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First concert at Promenade Park in nearly two years draws thousands to downtown

Collective Soul was the first of ten bands to be featured in the 2021 ProMedica Summer Concert Series
Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 11:49 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Friday was the perfect summer evening for the first concert at Promenade Park in nearly two years. The pandemic forced the cancellation of the ProMedica Summer Concert Series last year.

The series kicked off Friday night with performances from two local bands and Collective Soul. The downtown park on the banks of the Maumee River was packed as thousands of people enjoyed a Toledo tradition, music along the Maumee.

“We want to have events that draw people to downtown, that help support businesses downtown. Events that also give people a creative outlet to hear and enjoy the arts,” Tausha Moore, director of public relations for ProMedica, said.

For many, this was the first time being in a large crowd since the pandemic started. Russ Teegardin says it was exciting to be back at a concert.

“Everybody is close together and we’re having a good time. It feels good to be back among people again,” Teegardin said. “I am a huge fan of Collective Soul. I’ve been following them since the 90s, and I have seen them four or five times.”

Mike Knurek‘s son is in the local band Arctic Clam, which played just before Collective Soul.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people around me and nobody was from Toledo. They’re from Detroit, Gibsonburg, and all over,” Knurek said. “I think this will continue to draw people from around the region. It is so nice it is to see people of all ages here. You get locked up in your own world in this pandemic. Since it’s breaking, it’s great to get out.”

Ahbay Mitchell was here working in one of the food trucks. After spending a lot of time at home in recent months, he was excited to be here.

“It’s different to be around so many people since we’ve been in quarantine for the last year and a half,” Mitchell said. “Seeing all the people is nice.”

Moore says the concert series will provide a number of opportunities for people to enjoy this great space throughout the summer.

“I think it is so important for people to be able to get back out and come together to enjoy great things in our community again,” Moore said.

The ProMedica Summer Concert series includes nine more concerts, with Kool & The Gang taking the stage next.

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