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Successful First Year Brings Thousands to Maple Grove's 'Town Green'

New lineups, a variety of performances and special events fill the summer 2011 schedule.

Performing arts will once again take the stage at off of Main Street in Maple Grove.

After a successful inaugural year at Town Green, the city will host a lineup of new entertainment throughout the summer for community members. More than 12,000 people attended events at the park venue last season, according to the city, with most traveling within a five mile or less radius from the venue.             

“It was very well received by the public and performers,” Special Events and Volunteer Coordinator Deb Coss said. “We got a lot of good feedback. It has really been embraced.”

The opening of Town Green last summer visually pulled together the area off of Main Street, known as the civic center campus, which also includes the city’s building and .

“It all fits well together,” Coss said.

Residents and community members aren’t the only ones benefiting from the events. Some businesses along Main Street, such as , are hoping tthe performances draw customers.

“It wasn’t uncommon to see people strolling down Main Street before or after a concert,” said Julie Hagadorn, general manager of 3 Squares Restaurant last summer. “It created a great community buzz.”

Test driving the Town Green bandshell, the 10th grade orchestra brought a crowd out to the venue May 16. The official start to the “Sounds of Summer” entertainment lineup starts June 13.

Evening musical performances are offered 7 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays starting June 13 with the Maple Grove Jazz Ensemble and continuing until the last concert Aug. 24 with Mick Sterling featuring retro soul.

Families and childcare providers will find a variety of acts 11 a.m. Thursdays June 16-Aug. 25. In addition to musical guests, the 2011 summer schedule includes a Mongolian circus act, magician and puppet show.

The art of comedy will be on display 8 p.m. Thursdays as the co-presents Comedy on the Green, featuring performers such as Jim Wiggins, Scott Hansen, The Stagebenders, and Jeff Gerbino.

New this season, the Movies by Moonlight at sunset on Friday are not preceded by a musical performance. To add to the list entertainment opportunities at Town Green, several special events are scheduled throughout the summer starting out with the Teen Battle of the Bands June 17.

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