David Aft: Thanks so much for a great summer music series | Columns

On July 29, the Off The Rails Summer Music 2022 series concluded with another great community concert.

This year’s offerings ranged from country-influenced bluegrass to rock and roll. In between, we welcomed our local Creative Arts Guild Chamber Orchestra, the Conasauga Shakespeare Coalition, and a host of wonderful local and regional musical acts. The offerings held something for all ages.

With only one exception, the rain held off long enough for those in attendance to enjoy an evening of fun and fellowship.

Series announcer Zack Adamson reminded everyone in attendance that a few years ago each of them would have been somewhere else — often Chattanooga — but certainly not downtown Dalton. His words, a resounding endorsement of the changes downtown, resonated with many, who not only came downtown for the music, but made it a point to visit one of our local restaurants or breweries.

Series organizers remain committed to creating memories for Dalton’s youth that so many who grew up here in the past don’t have. Whether seeing an up-and-coming musical act like Nashville’s Colony House or simply walking down the grassy hills on either side of the Burr Park stage, every Friday night show offered a variety of great experiences. The Summer Music Series has quickly become a Dalton tradition and regularly welcomes hundreds of visitors, some who travel from neighboring communities just to see what “all the fuss is about.”

Burr Park and its new concession and restroom stand has been described by many as the heart of Dalton, and for those who joined us, it was easy to see why. Free family entertainment in a safe and wonderful environment is often hard to find, but not here.

Every Friday, concertgoers were reminded that these performances do not happen alone, but with the support of many. A small team of organizers coordinates entertainment, logistics and facilities.

It continues to be a pleasure to be part of this wonderful team.

We sincerely thank everyone who contributes to our success. Their generous gifts of time, talent and money have allowed the series to grow.

Presentation of sponsors

• Burr Park Arts Trust of the Community Foundation

• Dalton Convention and Visitors Bureau

• Dalton Utilities/Optilink

• Engineered floors

Pops in the Park Introducing Sponsors

• Mohawk Industries

• Textile and Chemical Company

Hosts of the event

• Barrett Properties

• Believe in Greater Dalton

• Coldwell Banker Kinard Realty

• Dalton State College

• Hamilton Medical System

• Marketing Alliance Group

• Shaw Industries

• Starr Mathews

• Tom Durkan Family

• Whitfield County NAACP

Series organizers

• Amanda Brown, Creative Arts Guild

• Candace Eaton, Downtown Dalton Development Authority

• David Aft, Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia

• Margaret Thigpen, Dalton Convention and Visitors Bureau

Key Partners

• Downtown Dalton Development Authority

• Guild of Creative Arts

A special shout out

• Sara Murry, Creative Arts Guild

• Jim Sneary, Creative Arts Guild

• City of Dalton Parks and Recreation

• Dalton City Police Department

The Off The Rails summer music series wouldn’t exist without its fans. It remains exciting to see people converge on Burr Park, armed with their chairs, blankets and smiling faces. We are so glad you chose to share your Fridays with us.

Although last Friday’s show marked the “official” end of the Summer Music Series, fans will have the opportunity to gather downtown on September 16 for a final Friday night performance. The “End of the Rails” promotion starts at 5:30 p.m. with the headliner starting at 6:30 p.m. The featured performer is Crawford and Power, who opened for Travis Tritt earlier this year at the Dalton Convention Center.

There are still many more events planned for Burr Park in the coming weeks, including more concerts, the annual Dalton Civitan Brewer’s Festival and a holiday celebration and Christmas tree lighting. I’m sure Jeanne Burr would be so proud of “her” park and its dramatic contribution to our community and how she sees herself.

The series will return next June with more great music and, as always, a few surprises! In the meantime, if you have any great ideas for next year’s show or would like to volunteer or contribute financially, we’d love to hear from you. You can get in touch through the Burr Park Facebook page. We will be happy to hear from you!

Until next year — thanks for making Burr Park Northwest Georgia’s favorite outdoor arts and entertainment venue and the Off the Rails Summer Music Series your destination!

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