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Concert series returns to Marion for 19th year

By Deirdre Ryan, Marion Times | June 4th, 2015 |

For most, the official kick-off for the summer season is Memorial Day. But for many Marion residents, summer truly begins with the renowned annual concert series, Marion by Moonlight.

This fun-filled event takes place every Thursday in June from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Each event provides food vendors for the entire family from 6 to 9 p.m., along with a free concert in Marion’s City Square Park from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

“Bring your friends, family, chairs and enjoy the music,” said Cassandra Chaloub, Marketing Specialist with Farmer’s State Bank in Marion.

This is the 19th year that Farmer’s State Bank (FSB) will be putting on Marion By Moonlight. Although this concert series now packs about 2,000 to 3,000 people in the park each week, when it first began, it truly was not this notable.

In 1997, FSB Vice President of Marketing, Lynn Ciha, came up with the idea to host a free and family-friendly event in Marion – something that would benefit the bank, as well the entire community. Ciha’s first Marion By Moonlight began with only one concert that year, and it has continued to make strides since then!

“She wanted to bring the community together … this was approved because we (FSB) love Marion so much,” commented Chaloub.

Farmer’s State Bank, along with media partners KDAT, KCRG and the Gazette, are proud sponsors of each Marion By Moonlight concert. FSB employees even help to staff and put on this event series by volunteering their time and efforts.

“Volunteering is a lot of fun, and we (FSB) are so heavily involved in the community,” said Chaloub. “Being able to give Marion something to look forward to in the summer is what we are proud of.”

Marion by Moonlight is not the only city celebration that FSB helps to sponsor, though. They are very involved with Uptown Get-Down in August, Barbeque Rendezvous, the Uptown Farmer’s Market, the Marion Arts Festival, the Chocolate Walk, Christmas in the Park and more.

“Local band awareness and supporting the arts is a good thing … It’s great that we’ve established that in Marion,” said Chaloub.

For the 19th Marion By Moonlight, there are some great bands on the docket. Kicking off the illustrious concert series on Thursday, June 4, is Lonesome Road. This Country band got rained out last year, so they were able to pick the first show of the season this time around. The next performance will be PastMasters on Thursday, June 11; they offer 60’s and 70’s dance music. Following them will be the Classic Rock group TwoBuckChuck on Thursday, June 18, and the final appearance will be Airwaves on Thursday, June 25, another Classic Rock crew.

Chaloub also noted that this year’s Marion By Moonlight has a wonderful lineup of food vendors. So far there is Carlo’s O’Kelly’s, Ramsey’s Metro Market, the Marion Dairy Queen, the Marion Maid-Rite, Zio Johno’s Spaghetti House, Take the Cake Cupcakery and the Kettel House Bakery.

“It’s a big event, but it’s intimate … that’s really the beauty of Marion,” said Chaloub.

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