Hundreds turn out for concert kickoff at Depot Street Park

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Carol Julian and her dog Dakotah, of New Palestine, stroll past hundreds of people attending the inaugural concert at Depot Street Park on Friday, June 3. The band Area Code 812 performed before a crowd of 550 people at the Greenfield park, which will be home to at least 10 more concerts this year.

Shelley Swift | Daily Reporter

GREENFIELD — A crowd of 550 people turned out for the inaugural concert at Depot Street Park in Greenfield on Friday.

“It was a perfect night,” said parks director Ellen Kuker, referring to more than just the weather.

“We’d been planning these concerts since early fall of 2021, and it was really special to see it all come together. Tony Seiler did an amazing job with production, and the parks staff went above and beyond expectations, as they always do,” she said. “Everybody pitched in and made an amazing event happen for our community.”

Friday’s concert — by bluegrass band Area Code 812 — was the first in the Entertainment @ The Depot concert series, a new spin on the popular Entertainment on the Plaza events hosted by Greenfield Banking Co. since 1986.

The bank handed the reins of the concert series over to the Greenfield Parks Department this year, moving the concerts from Courthouse Plaza over to the new stage at Depot Street Park.

Marsha Holland, a former bank employee who has attended the concert series for years, was impressed with the new venue. She and a friend arrived about an hour before showtime Friday to claim one of the swings at the back of the park, where they watched the show.

“The park is just beautiful, and it will hold a lot more people than the plaza did,” said the Greenfield woman, who appreciates having free local entertainment for the community to enjoy.

Renee Rupley, marketing director for Greenfield Banking Co., was thrilled with the turnout Friday.

“We were so happy to see so many in attendance, and it was a beautiful evening. I really liked the new stage, and did not miss the traffic noise” at the former venue on State Street, she said.

“While it’s bittersweet to hand the series off, although we’re still involved as the corporate sponsor, we couldn’t have had a better organization to carry the series onward. We are leaving it in good hands,” she said.

Kuker said it was an honor to be entrusted by the bank “to carry on this great community tradition.”

The parks director said she and her staff are looking forward to the rest of the summer concert season, including five more Friday concerts through the Entertainment @ the Depot series and four Saturday night concerts through the parks department’s Live @ The Rails concert series, which will feature a variety of musical acts, food vendors and a beer tent.

On July 4, the owners of The Depot restaurant — which sits alongside Depot Street Park — will host the inaugural Depot Freedom Festival at the park, which will feature live music, a variety of vendors and a beer garden.

Carol Julian, who attended Friday night’s concert with her dog, Dakotah, said she’ll definitely return for future concerts and events.

“This is such a great park. I’m so glad we found out about it,” the New Palestine woman said on Friday, as her dog padded around the park making new friends.