Summer in the City spans three days

Published 10:14 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Country music listeners will get their fill as Dowagiac Summer in the City rolls out its daytime lineup of music for July 26-28.

Foot-stomping, country-rocking music lovers will get the chance to enjoy country musicians such as The Outta Towners, Due Process and Wildfire, along with the legendary ballads of Patsy Cline performed by Anna Biek, a Dowagiac resident.

Hosted by the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce and now in its 27th year, the three-day summertime bash is underwritten by St. Denys Foundation and The Pokagon Fund, along with several corporate donors, including Baymont Inn & Suites, Dr. Charles Burling and Dr. Jon Gillesby, Creative Vinyl Signs, Family Fare, Leader Publications, Lyons Industries, Dr. Alan Montgomery and Southwestern Michigan College.

Returning to the stage at Beckwith Park are The Outta Towners from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 26,  Wildfire with two performances from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and 7 to 8:30 p.m. July 27 and Due Process from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 28.

Joining this year’s daytime line-up is Anna Biek, who will present classics from the 1960s country legend Patsy Cline. Biek will perform at Beckwith Park on Thursday and Friday, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. July 26 and July 27.

Returning to Friday’s lineup is long-time performing artist Al Mott of Cassopolis, whose one-man band features classic rock standards.

Mott’s performance from noon to 2 p.m. July 27 is presented by Front Street Crossing and will be staged outside Dowagiac’s new senior center on Front Street next to Twistee’s.

“When the Outta Towners open the festival’s daytime entertainment at the Beckwith Park on July 26 local residents are sure to recognize city employee Dennis Ferrier, who is best known for his dazzling guitar performances, as he balances his instrument above and behind his head, while strumming the cords,” Vickie Phillipson, program director for the Chamber of Commerce and DDA, said.

Phillipson, who is overseeing fundraising and entertainment scheduling for this year’s event, said country music fans will also recognize The Outta Towners’ vocalist and guitarist Ron Miller of Goshen, Ind., and keyboard player Paul Rose.

The men are two of the five musicians who comprise one of the festival’s veteran groups, Due Process, which takes center stage on 10 a.m. July 28 for its day-long performance.

“Their extensive backgrounds allow members of The Outta Towners and Due Process to play to the likes of just about any audience, which is why they’re such great musicians to work with,” Phillipson said, who first brought Due Process to Dowagiac more than 15 years ago, after seeing its performance at Amish Acres in Nappanee, Ind.

Phillipson said “rocking twang” is how members of The Outta Towners describe their brand of music.

“Festival goers can count on boot-scooting to their favorite country hits or dancing to select R&B standards, classic rock, funky blues and everything in between,” she said.

Ferrier said the music of Due Process is similar to The Outta Towners, but with some bluegrass thrown in.

The festival features 78 hours of vocal and instrumental music, dance and specialty entertainment, plus sidewalk sales with community, commercial and food vendors.

Performances will also feature Saturday’s new five-hour back-to-back dance gala featuring Mexican and African dance troops, along with an estimated 120 local students from Fierce Dance Academy, Miss Michele & Co., MKSOD, Positively Dance, Encore Dance Co. and Encore School of the Arts.

To reserve a sidewalk booth or receive a full schedule of events, visit or call the Chamber of Commerce at (269) 782-8212.