Summer Breeze Concerts Bring Music to Merchants Square

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The Summer Breeze concert series features party and military band music to draw in people of all ages.
The Summer Breeze concert series features party and military band music to draw in people of all ages. (Submitted)

Update 12:35 p.m. Wednesday: Wednesday’s concert has been postponed due to the weather.

The National Weather Service is predicting a chance of rain and thunderstorms at 7 p.m., when RareMixx Band was scheduled to play.

Last year the show went on despite rain, and about 15 minutes into the set, the weather had damaged the band’s equipment. In order to avoid having that happen again, the show has been rescheduled to Sept. 2.

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Original Post: The Summer Breeze concert series returned last week for its 24th year of music and fun in downtown Williamsburg.

This summertime staple kicked off last Wednesday with a performance by TRADOC Concert Band in Merchants Square.

Shows will continue to run Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. from now through Aug. 26.

When the series was first established 24 years ago it was conceived of as a showcase for military bands, but after just a few years event organizers began to include more party music bands in order to appeal to a wider audience.

This year there is an even split between party music and military band music, with the former being scheduled mostly in the month of July and the latter scheduled primarily in the month of August.

The inclusion of more party music is part of an effort to attract a younger crowd and make the concerts more “family-oriented,” said Louise Pritchard, a spokesperson for the concert series.

In keeping with this idea, Merchants Square will also offer children’s entertainment, including clowns, face painting and activities beginning a half hour prior to each show.

The week’s act is Rare Mixx, a Virginia Beach-based band that plays music from a variety of genres and decades.

Families are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and pack a picnic to enjoy with the show, or grab a bite at any of the Merchants Square restaurants and watch from their outdoor seating areas.

“We have some concert goers who have been coming to shows for years and years,” Pritchard said. “You’ll see them start setting up as early as 3 p.m. to get front row seats.”

Though getting to Merchants Square that early is not necessary for more casual attendees, past concerts have seen attendance numbers ranging from an average of 500 people up to several thousand for the more popular acts.

In order to generate more awareness and enthusiasm for the concerts and other happenings around Merchants Square, guests are being encouraged to use to hashtag “lovemsq” to tag photos and statuses on Instagram and other forms of social media.

This concert, like all concerts in the series, is free and open to the public. In case of rain, concertgoers should check Merchants Square’s Facebook page for the most up-to-date information on delays or cancellations.

 

Patriots Colony Names New Executive Director

MIke Rowe Patriots Colony
Mike Rowe

Patriots Colony, a Riverside Health System LifeCare retirement community located in James City County, has recently named Mike Rowe as its new Executive Director.

Rowe began his tenure as executive director mid-way through last month, and he brings with him more than 30 years of healthcare experience.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Florida State University and serving as a Captain in the Medical Service Corps of the U.S. Air Force for several years, Rowe attended Virginia Commonwealth University where he earned a master’s degree in health administration.

Rowe went on to hold a variety of executive and leadership positions with various healthcare organizations located along the East Coast. He spent much of his career in Richmond and as a result became familiar with Williamsburg and the Historic Triangle. He was thrilled when a job opportunity arose in the area.

Patriots Colony serves retired military officers and civil servants, a mission that Rowe found especially meaningful due to his own military experience.

“Patriots Colony is particularly exciting to me because it gives me the opportunity to serve the retired men and women who served our country through their own military and/or government service,” Rowe said. “My father was in the U.S. Air Force for 30 years and I was in for six years, which I believe will enable me to better meet the needs of the residents of Patriots Colony.”

During his time as executive director, Rowe is looking forward to getting to know all of the residents within the Patriots Colony community, which includes a variety of different residential arrangements ranging from completely independent living through multiple levels of assisted living care.

“My role is to come into the residents’ homes every day and help them lead fulfilling, secure and fun lives,” Rowe said. “It will be important to ensure that everyone can rest comfortably knowing that the Patriots Colony team is providing the highest level of quality healthcare services possible.”