Music, movies, food — Kentwood has it all for its Summer Entertainment Series

The Crane Wives opens the Kentwood Summer Concert Series tonight.
The Crane Wives opens the Kentwood Summer Concert Series tonight.

This summer, Kentwood has got it all the bases covers – music, movies, food – with its Summer Entertainment Series set to kick off tonight with the wildly popular Grand Rapids-based The Crane Wives. The concert is set to start at 7 p.m. behind Kentwood City Hall, 4900 Breton Ave. SE


“I think we did pretty well this year,” said Kentwood Parks and Recreation Marketing/Events Coordinator Laura Barbrick, as she looked over the 2016 line up. “We really targeted toward a younger crowd, kind of varying it with what is popular right now.”


Locally, no group could be as popular with the younger crowd as The Crane Wives. The local indie-folk band, which includes founders Kate Pillsbury ad Emilee Petersmark along with Dan Rickabus and Ben Zito, had a huge 2015 with the release of its album “Coyote Stories,” which earned the group another Jammie, and the opportunity to open for the Avett Brothers at ArtPrize. The group recently released “Foxlore,” it’s sister record to the “Coyote Stories.”


Rockabilly/honky tonk band Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys is June 14.
Rockabilly/honky tonk band Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys perform July 14.

According to John Sinkevics from “Foxlore” certainly represents another bold step forward for this ultra-likable and increasingly popular Michigan act. “Down the River” even features a drum solo of sorts, buoyed by a throbbing, jam-band vibe. That’s followed closely by the airy and atmospheric “Ribs,” with an almost-jazzy milieu, morphing into the slow-cooking, uber-psychedelic, banjo-and-strings balladry of “Can’t Go Back” and the old-timey, clarinet-fueled swing of “Curses.”


The rest of Kentwood Summer Entertainment Series musical line up includes Tailshaker, June 16; Vox Vidorra, June 30; Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys, July 14; Big foot Buffalo, July 28, and The Accidentals, Aug. 11.


But the Kentwood Summer Entertaiment Series isn’t just about music. The city has combined it with its Movie in the Park programs starting with “Back to the Future” June 23; followed by “Frozen” July 21 and wrapping up Aug. 4 with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”


“In the past, the Movies in the Park have been at Pinewood but it seemed a little bit separated from the other pubic events,” Barbrick said. “So we decided to bring it out to the same venue as the concert series.


Because of the music line-up and movie selections, it was decided the series needed more space so it was moved to the lawn area behind city hall. This also provided another opportunity in bringing in local food trucks to the event.


“We really wanted the food truck operators to know that they are welcomed at our events and it provides an easy way for guests to grab dinner, dessert, or coffee to enjoy during a concert or later for a movie,” Barbrick said.


Food trucks will vary but the ones lined up for this year’s event include Gettin’ Fresh, A Moveable Feast, Daddy Pete’s BBQ, What the Truck and River City Cup and Cake.


“With the new venue, several headlining acts, fun family movies, and food trucks, we anticipate this year’s crowds to be the largest to date,” said Parks and Recreation Director Val Romeo. Guests are invited to bring a blanket or chair, kick back and relax with a favorite snack, local craft beer or wine and enjoy the show.


For more information, visit the City of Kentwood Parks and Recreation Department Facebook page or their website at