Summer Arts Festival to present mutts, parrots and Sons

Sons of Serendip, a group that found fame on the hit television series "America's Got Talent" will perform Thursday at the Summer Arts Festival.

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Sons of Serendip, a group that found fame on the hit television series "America's Got Talent" will perform Thursday at the Summer Arts Festival.

Dogs and Parrots, Sons and All-Stars and a touch of Sly will be part of this week’s Summer Arts Festival schedule.

The seven-week season reaches its midway point as the Springfield Arts Council welcomes five acts to Veterans Park beginning at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The dog days of August are still a month out, but this dog day is one audiences will welcome. Mutts Gone Nuts! leads off the week Wednesday, a returning act in which show creators Scott and Joan Houghton have rescued dogs from shelters and trained them to create laughs and do unique physical acts.

Also returning to open the show is comedian Jonathan Burns, who performed here recently with a Michael Jackson tribute show and will bring his flexible brand of humor and goofy fun with him. This show will have an American Sign Language interpretation provided by the Springfield Foundation.

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Thursday will have another group that proved popular here as well as on television. Sons of Serendip rose to fame on “America’s Got Talent” with its blend of vocals, harp, piano and cello that create new arrangements on familiar pop hits.

The group has recorded four albums and worked with several other talented groups and individuals.

Hawaiian shirts, flip-flops and a laid-back feeling are suggested when an Arts Festival tradition is renewed on Friday. The annual Parrothead Party in the Park will set the mood starting at 6 p.m. and include burritos and margaritas for sale and live music from The Old Pirates on the west terrace.

That sets the stage for one of the top Jimmy Buffet tribute acts around, Parrots of the Caribbean, where they’ll take you to Margaritaville for a cheeseburger and a side trip to perform their own original blend of music styles to keep the mood light and right for dancing.

The group that jolted Arts Festival goers back into a party mood to kick off last year’s season after a two-year layoff will keep the hits coming on Saturday. The K-Tel All-Stars: Super Hits of the ‘70s show will bring back the songs that were coming out of stereos during the Me Decade that still sound good today.

Rounding out week four on Sunday is The Sly Band, whose high-energy mix of pop, rock and R&B classics and contemporary hits. The 11-member group has a collection of talent that has toured with national acts, appeared on MTV and played on various record labels.

Shows will begin at 8 p.m. Admission is free with chances to support the series through financial donations each night.

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