Library hosts summer lunch concert series

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Ryan Silvola/Beloit Daily News Beloit International Film Festival executive director and musician Greg Gerard performs classic songs during the Beloit Public Library's "Wednesdays at the Library" series on Wednesday. The series, which runs until Aug. 28, brings a different musician and food truck to the Hendricks Children's Garden and Patio each Wednesday.

BELOIT - Hump days at the library just got a lot more fun.

The Beloit Public Library, Blender Cafe and Community Health Systems Inc., are partnering to host the "Wednesdays at the Library" series. Each Wednesday for the rest of the summer, the library will host one musical act and a food truck at the Hendricks Children's Patio and Garden right outside the library. In addition to the food truck, the Blender Cafe also will be open for people to purchase food.

The program started on July 3 and runs until Aug. 28. Food will be available from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., and there will be music from noon - 1 p.m.

On Wednesday, the library hosted Beloit International Film Festival executive director Greg Gerard - who sang classic hits - and 3 Chicks & a Truck - who were selling tasty treats.

Library director Nick Dimassis said the library was considering ways staff and customers could better use the patio area in the front of the library.

"It's fun for kids to get outside. We're also providing an activity for the adults to enjoy as well," Dimassis said. "This also is a great space, and we wanted to take advantage of this part of the library."

Beloiter Maira Ramos has been taking full advantage of the "Wednesdays at the Library" series. She encourages the public to attend the event, which she says is the perfect way to get people to the library.

"The library is a great place for the kids to go, and I love to read so it's a win-win," Ramos said.

She plans on meeting her sister at another "Wednesdays at the Library" soon.

Dimassis said Community Health Systems is selecting the food vendors, while the library is selecting the music acts. The acts range from solo acts to musical groups.

Monica Krysztopa, director of marketing engagement at Community Health Systems, said the health system is happy to partner with local agencies that are engaged with the community.

"The library continues to look for ways to reach out and create great spaces for people to meet, talk and read," Krysztopa said. "We look forward to collaborating with the library on other future projects."

Amy Mitchell, the library's marketing and communications coordinator, said the library added furniture to the space to make it more inviting about a month ago.

"We love this opportunity to feature the local music scene," Mitchell said.

Once summer is over, Dimassis said the library is planning to host more music events to attract more visitors.

"There's a strong music community and history of music here," Dimassis said.

Next week, musician Ken Curtis will take the stage on July 24. The local food vendor besides the Blender Cafe is still yet to be announced.

On July 31, musician Duane Worden will perform, and Stormy's Grilled Cheese and the Blender Cafe will provide food.

The rain location for the event will be inside the library. For more information, visit beloitlibrary.org.

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