The local concert season is upon us

The summer season is quickly approaching, and for many that means checking out a few concerts from some of our favorite musical acts.

There are many opportunities for musical entertainment in the Ohio Valley, whether it’s traveling to Pittsburgh at one of their many venues, hopping over to Burgettstown, up to Chester or down to Wheeling for the variety of shows with the big-name touring acts.

But there is so much more, especially with the amount of musical talent provided by our local residents.

There are several area establishments which provide live music for their customers, a few special events here and there.

Of course, one of the highlights of the summer season in our area would be the local concert series put on in some of our local communities.

For many years, the Fort Steuben concert series in Steubenville has entertained our residents, bringing local and regional groups, and even a few touring acts, to the valley.

The amphitheater there can seat a few hundred easily, and there is always a great crowd once the shows get started for Thursday nights.

Similar efforts have been taking place in Weirton in more recent years with the opening of the Weirton Event Center.

On today’s front page, you’ll notice the schedule for this year’s Downtown at Sundown summer concert series.

This annual event, organized by the Top of West Virginia Convention Center, provides a few hours of free entertainment for our area residents just about every Friday during the summer.

It’s always great to see our communities get together for something fun, with residents able to take their minds off their worries for a couple of hours and enjoy spending time with family and friends.

The organizers of these concert series work to bring a variety of musical genres to our residents, with some rock, oldies, country and more being offered each summer.

The Weirton Event Center also has become home in recent years to the Wheeling Symphony whenever it puts on its annual performance in Weirton.

This year, the CVB also has scheduled an appearance by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, which has visited the Ohio Valley on a few occasions in recent years.

I’ve been able to attend most of the Weirton concerts since the series was launched, and they usually get a good crowd together. There are even a few regulars I see pretty much every week.

These events truly have become a focal point of the local summer festivities, right along with the community festivals, youth sports and holiday celebrations.

Mostly, it’s about community and local music.

Whether it’s a neighborhood oldies band, a group of young country artists starting to make their name or a group that has been established and has a well-developed following, not every artist is signed to a major record label.

But they still put on a great show, and these summer concert events prove that each year.

So, if you find yourself needing something to do this summer, consider checking out one of our many local concert events.

You won’t regret it.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)