The 2021 iteration of the monthly Parties on the Parkway will end with a sense of fun and gratitude.
Having completed its first full schedule of concerts since 2019, the series was able to provide an escape as people got to take in the Parkway System and local music.
Parties on the Parkway will conclude this season with country group the Phil Vandel Band performing at 5 p.m. Thursday in front of the Remington Nature Center, 1502 McArthur Dr. The show is free and open to all ages.
“This year has been kind of a newfound hope for so many of us. I’m really, really excited about this one,” Phil Vandel said.
Being able to host the series of concerts in full, the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce got to check off one of its summer goals: Exposing people who may not be familiar with the city’s more than 25 miles of Parkway to it and a wide array of local music.
“The Parkway is something that no other community has. It’s gorgeous and it’s a way to bring people out of their homes, out of their businesses to see this great amenity that we have,” Kristi Bailey, director of marketing and communications for the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, said in a previous interview.
Closing the series’ 20th year with the Phil Vandel Band felt appropriate, as the group has been a staple in the event’s lineup.
“That’s the bad part about being a part of Parties on the Parkway since it began is that it’s been going on a long time, so that makes us kind of old,” Vandel said laughing. “I remember when I was young, I have these conversations going, ‘Man, yeah, it’s gonna be a fun show.’”
There still will be that celebratory feeling of fun and community as Vandel’s band performs, he said. After a rough year and a half, it’s all he can do to provide people with a place to escape.
“(Events like Parties on the Parties), I’m happy to see them and proud to see them. Hopefully, no matter who attends, they’re doing it as safely as they know how, and we all can grow and learn from this together,” he said.
Admission to the concert is free. Drink and food vendors are cash-only.