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Iola to host Thursday Night on Main

Summer concerts includes reggae, jazz, bluegrass, rock


Five Thursday nights of concerts plus the second annual Comedy & Corks Night are on tap this summer in downtown Iola.

Sponsored by the Iola-Scandinavia Chamber of Commerce, Thursday Night on Main concerts also include a 50-50 raffle, door prize drawings, Italian gelato from the Millstone at Iola Mills, and food specials at downtown restaurants and taverns.

The concerts start at 6 p.m. until shortly after 8 p.m. and are free, although the audience is encouraged to contribute via the 50-50 raffle ($1 per ticket, six for $5).

The concerts are held on Main Street in the parking lot of the retail strip located across the street from the Crystal Café. The audience should bring lawn chairs or a blanket.

In case of rain, the concerts will be held down the street at Iola Mills.

Three of the four bands are new to Thursday Night on Main, with the local band Gray Catz kicking things off on July 9 during the Iola Old Car Show.

The new bands include Harmonious Wail, a gypsy jazz band from Madison; Art Stevenson & Highwater, a bluegrass band from central Wisconsin; and a Wisconsin reggae group, Unity the Band.

Family Night on July 31 includes Tom Pease, the popular family entertainer.

In addition, Ministry Health Care and the Chamber will raffle off two bicycles on July 31. Each child in attendance will receive a raffle ticket, and the two winners will be fitted for bikes and helmets at Adventure Outfitters in Waupaca.

For the second year, Corks & Comedy Night on Aug. 13 features a wine tasting event with wines from Lil Ole Winemaker Shoppe of Wausau and an hour of comedy from Comedy City Performers of Appleton. This event is held at the newly renovated Iola Mills (originally built in 1860), and audience members must be 21 to attend.

Prior to and during the concerts, vendors will sell homemade and homegrown items at the Farmers Market at the Vidar of Iola carving on State Street and Chet Krause Drive. Interested vendors should contact the Iola village clerk for a vendor license.

The 2015 Thursday Night on Main lineup includes: July 9 – Gray Catz, Americana and rock; July 16 – Harmonious Wail, gypsy jazz; July 23 – Art Stevenson & Highwater, bluegrass; July 30: Family Night featuring Tom Pease; Aug. 6 – Unity the Band, reggae; Aug. 13 – Corks & Comedy Night at Iola Mills, with Lil Ole Winemaker Shoppe wine tasting at 6 p.m., and Comedy City Performers at 7 p.m.

For more information, visit www.ischamber.com.

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