Blues at the Zoo coming up in June


Blues at the Zoo featuring the band "The Nighthawks" is quickly becoming a traditional summer event in Garden City, and just one month from today, you'll have a chance to enjoy this fun concert once again!

Blues at the Zoo featuring the band "The Nighthawks" is quickly becoming a traditional summer event in Garden City, and just one month from today, you'll have a chance to enjoy this fun concert once again!

This fabulous blues band out of Washington, D.C., will be returning for the third Blues on June 10. You can be sure that Mark Wenner and his band members will chase away your Monday morning blues if you venture down to the zoo's west green for a great evening of blues and barbecue. "The Nighthawks" are known worldwide for their legendary blues and roots rock music that will have you tapping your feet, clapping your hands or perhaps even dancing barefoot in the grass. Don't take my word for how much fun this event is, though. Attendance at Blues At The Zoo doubled from the first to second year, attracting about 800 people in 2012. I attribute this to word of mouth from 2011 attendees, the amazing energy and music of the band and great barbecue served in an unbeatable concert venue — the zoo!

The band loves our western Kansas hospitality and playing at the zoo so much so that they ask to come back each year! If you enjoyed them last year, you'll want to be sure to come back and bring a few friends with you. If you missed last year, put Monday, June 10, at 7 p.m. on your calendar now so you can make this summer's event.

The concert will take place on the west green of the zoo, so lawn chairs or blankets are a must and don't forget your appetite. Once again we'll have mouth-watering barbecue and other food items, plus a selection of cold beverages for sale from a variety of vendors. The zoo will close early at 4 p.m. that day to allow for concert preparations. The zoo's southwest gate will open at 6 p.m., so you have plenty of time to find the perfect patch of grass for your lawn chair and grab a bite to eat before the show.

You don't have to be a big fan of blues music (or even know what it is) to enjoy the great atmosphere of live music on the west green of the zoo. "The Nighthawks" have been playing their unique brand of music for more than 30 years, and have played with greats like Carl Perkins and Muddy Waters.

Lead singer Mark Wenner plays a mean harmonica, and he is supported by Johnny Castle on vocals and bass, Paul Bell on guitar, and the fabulously versatile Mark Stutso on drums and vocals. Their CD, "Last Train to Bluesville," won Acoustic Album of the Year in 2011 from the Blues Foundation at the Blues Music Awards, and their newest CD, "Damn Good Time," was released about a year ago. You can check out their music at

Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the gate and FOLRZ members get a discount when they buy their tickets at the Friends office. Kids 5 and younger are admitted free. For ticket locations or other information, please call the zoo at 276-1250 or 276-6243.

Special thanks go out to our sponsors to date, including the Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau; Keller Leopold Insurance; Main and Palmer Family Dentistry; Doll Law Firm, LLC of Dodge City; and Don and Linda Doll. We are still accepting sponsors for this fun event, as well as volunteers to help with the event, so if you are interested or have questions, please contact the zoo at 276-1250.

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