Concert organizers hope for dry performances

Alicia Davis is hoping for sunny Mondays beginning May 5.


"There was a 30 percent chance of rain every Monday last summer," said Ms. Davis, the recreation program coordinator with the city of Aiken Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department and organizer of the annual outdoor Hopelands Gardens Summer Concert Series, which begins May 5.

The Aiken Community Band will again open the series, which will be held each Monday through August.

Concerts begin at 7 p.m. Prior to the first concert at 6:30 p.m., there will be a dedication ceremony for the new stage at Hopelands Gardens.

More than 13,000 people attended weekly concerts last year, and Ms. Davis said she's hoping for even higher numbers this year.

"We are always encouraging more families to come out. This is something different. You don't get this quality of entertainment free," she said.

Each week will feature a different act. Groups include South Boundary, an all-male a cappella chorus, the Savannah River Winds and Carolina Rebels, a bluegrass band.

The Parris Island Marine Corps Band will be featured on July 7.

In the event of rain or extreme heat, the concerts will be moved to the H. Odell Weeks Activity Center.

"We try to postpone making a final decision about moving the concerts inside. We strive to have them in the gardens as much as possible," she said.

The call to move the concerts indoors is usually made around 5 p.m. Signs are posted outside the gardens. Also concert-goers can call the weather hot line at (803) 643-4661.

A list of acts performing in the concert series can be found at the city's Web site,