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Lions Concert Series kicks off in Connellsville

The Abilene Band gets the Lions Summer Concert Series starts 7-9 p.m. Sunday, June 22, 2014, at Lions Square Gazebo. There will then be a different band each Sunday night through Aug. 31 when Harold Betters presents the finale. From left are Abilene members Herb Humphreys, Larry Miller, Tim Burkhart and Keith Taylor.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014, 6:12 p.m.

The Connellsville Lions Summer Concert Series kicks off Sunday.

Concerts will be held at Lions Square starting at 7 p.m. Sundays, through Aug. 31.

“Accolades to all the members of the Lions Club who help maintain the square, plant the flowers and work the concession stand during the concerts,” said George Puskar, Lions Club member and event organizer.

Puskar said new carpeting has been installed at the gazebo area.

“We're looking forward to another successful summer of concerts that are free to attend,” said Puskar.

The concert series kicks off Sunday with Abilene. The last concert is August will be by hometown favorite, Harold Betters.

Abilene is currently creating a 10-song CD of original material. The band plans to release the CD soon.

“We expect to get some local airplay as soon as we have a release party. We have a lot of information on our Facebook page and website. We have a busy summer coming up and hope to see everyone at Lions Square and throughout the upcoming months — and wear your dancin' boots,” said Tim Burkhart, Abilene Band drummer and vocalist.

Founder Keith Taylor takes his place behind the keyboards, Herb Humphreys is on guitar and vocals and Larry Miller is on bass and vocals.

The sponsors of Abilene's summer tour are L. Kevin Metsger DMD Progressive Dental Studio, House Financial Services, Hobby's ‘n Stuff, Davies Ford, Ron Eiford's Garage, Orchard Camp Studios, Burkhart's Body Shop and Huffman's Auto Sales Inc. “

The band will also be playing the Westmoreland County Ribfest on June 28, Fairchance Community Days on July 4, Scottdale Borough Concert Summer Series on July 18 and Fayette County Fair on July 27, Burkhart said.

Anna Jean Allen & Band will perform at Lions Square on June 29 followed by the Travelin' Road Show on July 6.

The Del Sols return on July 13. The group performs classic rock and oldies from the '60s, '70s and '80s. The Del Sols have been playing music together for nearly 20 years. Members are Marcus Gemas on bass and vocals, Geno McFadden on drums and vocals, and Gene McFadden on guitar and vocals.

“We love playing music and performing. Our band looks forward to appearances such as Lions Square each summer. We invite everyone to come out for our July 13 evening there,” said Gene McFadden.

High Ryder returns on July 22.

Band member Roy Hess said High Ryder is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The band will be performing at Lions Square, Storey Square, Dawson Grange Fair, Dunbar Festival, and many others.

“We always enjoy the enthusiasm of our audiences, as at the Tri-Town Homecoming each June. We want to see everyone having a good time,” said Hess.

Nashville Past takes the Lions Square stage on July 27 followed by Jane Lynn & Total Package on Aug. 3. Outpost will perform Aug. 10.

“We are a unique four-piece band from Westmoreland County playing a wide variety of music ranging from classic and southern rock to blues and Texas swing. We feature the distinctive sound of pedal steel guitar, along with guitar, bass and drums,” said band member Randy Miller.

The Wally Gingers Orchestra return to Lions Square on Aug. 24 with its big band sounds.

Connellsville's own Mr. Trombone, Harold Betters, will entertain the crowd Aug. 31.

“These concerts have become a part of summer in Connellsville and we're glad that residents enjoy them,” said Puskar.

Sponsors for the concert series include the Connellsville Lions Club, Atkins Music Center, Yough River Trail Council, The Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce, Donna Evans Realty, Dominos Pizza, George D. Puskar-State Farm Insurance, Southside Grocer, Duncan Service, Suter & Sons Construction, Downtown Connellsville, John Fiesta Insurance Agency, Bud Murphy's Sports Bar and Restaurant, Scottdale Bank & Trust, Richard E. Bower Esq. Atty., Dave's Quality Carpet, Marky Finners Market, Dr. John Ellis, Optometrist, and Somerset Trust Company. Oglevee Ltd provided the flowers for the square.

Connellsville Police Auxiliary provides security and traffic control.

Refreshments will be available at the concession stand. A 50/50 drawing will be held and raffle tickets for four Steeler season tickets will be available. The Lions brooms will be sold.

Nancy Henry is a contributing writer.

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