Performers, sponsors set for Felt Mansion concert series

Popular free shows start July 11 and run through Aug. 1.
The band Bucket O’ Maybes performs on Thursday, July 27, 2023, at the final Thursdays at the Felt Summer Concert Series at the Carriage House Stage, 6595 138th Ave. in Laketown Township.

The performers and sponsors for the popular Thursdays at the Felt Summer Concert Series in Laketown Township were recently announced.

“These concerts have become such a well-loved summer staple in the area,” said Elizabeth McEwen, executive director of the Felt Estate, 6597 138th Ave. “Dorr Felt built this estate as a place for joyful gathering, and the concert series definitely accomplishes that.”

The concerts traditionally take place on Thursdays through the entire month of July, but this year, the Fourth of July is on a Thursday, so the concerts start a week later and last into the first week of August.

Performers

Concert performers are:

July 11 — Zion Lion, a reggae band from Kalamazoo.

July 18 — The Schrock Bros, a Michigan based Americana/blues ensemble.

July 25 — Bernadette Kathryn and the Lonely Days Band, contemporary young country music drawing on Motown and rock and roll.

Aug. 1 — Lighting Matches, an alternative rock band based in Grand Rapids.

In case of inclement weather, cancellation will be announced by 5 p.m. via email and website www.feltmansion.org/current-events.

Admission is free. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Food and drink service begins at 6 p.m. The music starts at 7 p.m.

No outside drinks allowed but outside food is permitted. Coolers and bags will be checked. No pets except registered service dogs.

A couple dance in front of the crowd on Thursday, July 27, 2023, at the final Thursdays at the Felt Summer Concert Series at the Carriage House Stage, 6595 138th Ave. in Laketown Township.

The concerts bring together individuals of all ages to appreciate the music and enjoy comradery, said McEwen.

“Personally, I love seeing grandparents and grandchildren dancing together, teenagers voluntarily spending time with their parents, and old friends making time to connect with each other through these concerts. It fills one’s heart to see!”

For more concert information, visit www.feltmansion.org.

The crowd lines up at the Pizza Parliament food truck at the season-opening Thursdays at the Felt Summer Concert Series at the Carriage House Stage, 6595 138th Ave. in Laketown Township on Thursday, July 6.

The vendors

The vendors enjoy the venue and working with the community.

“TNT chose to sponsor the summer concert series because we like to give back in different ways and this is certainly a fun way to do that,” said Art Tolsma of TNT Roofing, 1895 Russell Court, Holland. This is the company’s first year as a sponsor.

“This is an event that brings people together and promotes community and it seemed like a good fit for us. We are grateful to be part of this wonderful place called West Michigan and hope to see a lot of people there enjoying the music,” he said.

Saugatuck Brewing Company, 2948 Blue Star Highway, Douglas, takes great pride in the Saugatuck and Douglas community and its rich history, said Sara Van Splinter of the brewery.

“We are excited to be working with our neighbors at The Felt Estate once again, who bring people together every summer for an outstanding summer concert series,” she said. “After all, that’s what beer and music do best — bring people together!”

Michigan Wine Company, 6781 124th Ave. in Fennville, is also a sponsor.

Pizza Parliament, 1355 Judd Ave. in Wyoming, has been serving Felt concertgoers since 2018 when food trucks first arrived on the scene. Since Covid, Pizza Parliament has been the only food truck at the concerts.

“We have the capacity to handle large crowds,” said Justin Gunnink, Pizza Parliament owner. “We love the community, we love the music, we love the mission, and they love our pizza!”

Dickinson-Wright, 200 Ottawa Ave. in Grand Rapids, has also been a sponsor for several years and continues that tradition in 2024.

“I remember when the Felt Mansion project was just beginning, and I love seeing how that project has continued to progress and grow. I consider the concert series part of that process,” said Ronald Bultje of the law firm.

“I have worked for the township for several decades, and I appreciate the chance to participate in this way,” he added.

Volunteers check-in concertgoers at the season-opening Thursdays at the Felt Summer Concert Series at the Carriage House Stage, 6595 138th Ave. in Laketown Township on Thursday, July 6.

Tours and volunteers

The Carriage House and mansion are open for tours during the shows.

Construction of the mansion began in 1925 by Dorr E. Felt, inventor of the Comptometer, an early adding machine. The building was finished in 1928. Felt’s wife Agnes died that year. Dorr died a year-and-a-half later.

After his death, the estate became a seminary for the Augustinian order then a state prison and Michigan State Police post before the property was purchased by Laketown Township.

The mansion has been restored and is a top wedding and event destination.

There will be a special reserved seating section for volunteers at the concerts.

“To show our gratitude for their time, any person who volunteers at a concert will have access to the reserved seating section at a subsequent concert of their choice,” said McEwen.

It takes more than 30 volunteers to make these concerts happen each week.

To volunteer at one of the shows and then have access to reserved seating at a subsequent show, contact McEwen at director@feltmansion.org.