Metal, Motown and hometown talent coming to Arts Festival

That Arena Rock Show will rock the Summer Arts Festival on Thursday, July 7, with classic heavy metal and hair band rock favorites. CONTRIBUTED

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That Arena Rock Show will rock the Summer Arts Festival on Thursday, July 7, with classic heavy metal and hair band rock favorites. CONTRIBUTED

It’s the week to drink in all the 56th annual Summer Arts Festival has to offer as all five senses will be engaged Wednesday through Sunday in Veterans Park.

Shows begin at 8 p.m., and admission is free, with the chance to give financially to keep the event going through pass-the-hat contributions. The festival is presented by the Springfield Arts Council along with several sponsors.

Golden Gates will open week five on Wednesday, an Armenian group that will display its culture with colorful costumes, song, dance, unique instruments and traditions that will include audience participation. It’s a chance to learn and be entertained.

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On Thursday, get ready to get loud when That Arena Rock Show, the tribute to ‘70s and ‘80s rock, returns with anthems that will bring out the air guitarist in you. Hear the best from Aerosmith, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin to Bon Jovi and Guns N’ Roses.

Another anticipated Arts Festival attraction is the annual Sip of Summer wine and beer tasting, 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The amphitheater’s west terrace will offer the chance to sample specially selected wines and beers with experts available to guide the choices and work as a complement to the main attractions.

The Motown Sounds of TOUCH, the premiere old-school tribute band will bring the hits of the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye and others from the golden age of Motown as Friday’s featured artists.

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An annual Arts Festival fixture and Springfield native will play his yearly set on Saturday — singer/songwriter Griffin House. He’ll perform favorites and likely music from his latest album, “Stories for a Rainy Day,” released earlier this year.

Hometown pride will round out the week when the Springfield Symphony Orchestra will play the festival for the 56th consecutive year, the longest running tenure in festival history. Conductor and music director Peter Stafford Wilson will pay homage to Ukraine, and be joined by the SSO Chorale with music from three operas.

The experience will be rounded out in grand style by the “1812 Overture” accompanied by fireworks, downtown church bells and a brass choir.

For more information, go online to www.springfieldartscouncil.org/.

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