Music in the Park summer lineup set

Starting in June Music in the Park will return to Muskingum Park, offering music lovers the taste of a different genre of music every Thursday night at 7 p.m.

The Marietta Welfare League just announced a full schedule for the annual event, which starts June 5 and ends at the end of August.

Tawni Love, Music in the Park committee chair, said that the event has been around for many years, since the late 1980s. She said the event is free and open to the public, but donations may be given.

“If a band comes and plays, they sometimes bring a hat or something for donations,” she said. “A lot of people just want to do it for free. They know it’s a way to get their name out there.”

Each concert is free and open to everyone. The seating is lawn seating. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets, snacks and however many people with them.

Love said quite a bit of work goes into getting events set up, but the preparation is spread out over a couple of months, which makes it a little easier.

“I started about January,” she said, adding that it starts with basic checks on the venue, including making sure the electricity is ready to go. Love said booking the performers happens in March and now schedules are being circulated.

Donna Malcolm, publicity director for the Marietta Welfare League, said that she’s seen the park filled with several hundred people for one performance in particular.

“I have been there when we have had as many as 300 people,” she said. “That was one of the occasions we hosted the Marietta High School band…It’s thrilling when you get that many people. It’s just wonderful to know that our events can be that well supported.”

Malcolm said there are many benefits to holding an event like Music in the Park.

“I feel that it gives Marietta an advantage to come to the park and witness the beauty there this time of year, and to also get a sense of what this community is really all about: bringing people together,” Malcolm said. “(The event is) something we do to give back to the community. (That is) our purpose.”

The event is something everyone can look forward to it, Love said.

“People look forward to it every summer,” Love said. “A lot of times when you’re down there, you see the same faces every week. It’s become a staple in Marietta. It’s a night for people to get out and visit. It’s just a relaxing time for people by the river.”

Malcolm said the event is a way to showcase local talent and enjoy the company of others.

“It’s something that is valuable to the community in general, as far as having this camaraderie and mutual enjoyment of the local talent,” said Malcolm.