Outdoor Summer Concerts are Harmony to Lakeland

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Article & Photography by Kim Odom

Special feature by Cypress

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The LAMP (Lakeland’s Amphitheater), is comfortably nestled among a line of mature shade trees, with a picturesque backdrop of the park’s 5-acre lake located at International Harvester Park. The stage is tucked away like a hidden gem; as is the park itself. Located on Canada Road, the park, lake, and amphitheater, is easily missed by daily commuters.

The growing suburban city featuring Garner Lake (once the centerpiece of the historic Lakeland Amusement Park), is focused on components of a great community that already prides itself on the what’s currently in place, including the Lakeland School System, currently the top education system in the state with the highest test scores in reading, math and science. In its future, the Lake District, a 160-acre upscale mixed-used community with an urban village feel, will add additional amenities to the community.

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IH Park’s 65-acres is one of the City of Lakeland’s best features, along with the International Harvester Clubhouse, a facility located on the premises of the 65-acre park, rentable for weddings, family reunions, class reunions and other events. The city often uses the facility and park for community-wide events. The Lakeland Senior Center is housed on the park’s premises as well, offering a variety of activities to seniors 55 and up.

The LAMP is a newer amenity to the family-oriented community. The outdoor stage was created with families and community in mind. “Lakeland’s Amphitheater is just one more amenity that provides our families an outlet for a safe and friendly environment,” said Mayor Wyatt Bunker. “We strive to add components that contribute to a strong and vibrant community. Recreation is part of the big picture in Lakeland as the community continues to grow.”

On June 2, the City kicked off the third annual “Live Music at the LAMP,” summer concert series, featuring Thump Daddy, a popular cover party-band. The event attracted between 200-300 attendees. An even larger crowd is expected for future concerts scheduled this summer, with the largest crowd possibly attending Lakeland Home Coming in September, featuring youth football players and cheerleaders involved with the City’s Parks and Recreation programs, as well as the Lakeland School System’s football and cheer programs. The main music performance will be Bluff City Bandits. Ted Horrell, superintendent for LSS, will lead, Ted Horrell and the Monday Night Card band, as the opening act for the headliner.  

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The summer concerts have quickly become a favorite outdoor event among Lakeland families, and visiting concert goers making their way to Lakeland for these live music events. Attendees of concert series, enjoy live music, good eats offered by food trucks, as well as the Snack Bar presented by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Kids of all ages, can expect to have a good time with fun offerings like inflatables, face painting, and magical creations by Mr. Mike the Balloon Man (Mike Tucker), during most concerts. Many tiny dancers can be spotted dancing in the park, as they too enjoy the music.

Local vendors join each concert, providing an opportunity to meet families of the community, and spotlight their organization’s offerings. Dave DeGutis, a USPTA tennis coach, was among vendors present for the first concert. DeGutis offered registration information on upcoming tennis camps for children and adults. He has offered tennis lessons in Lakeland for approximately 5 years. “I grew up in a smaller community like Lakeland and enjoyed being part of a growing community. Lakeland reminds me of my childhood,” said DeGutis. “I love tennis and I love music, so the concerts are the perfect way to relax while meeting families.”

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Friends and neighbors are invited to bring a blanket or chair, with family in tow, and experience quality entertainment at the LAMP. Coolers are welcome.

There’s no admission fee. All concerts are held on Saturdays, from 7 to 10 p.m. at IH Park, 4523 Canada Road. Parking is free and available in the main parking lot of IH Park and the newer gravel parking, as well as Lakeland First Baptist Church’s parking lot (across the street). Shelby County Reserve officers are on hand to direct traffic. Future dates and featured bands are: July 28: Ghost Town Blues Band; August 25: Nick Black; September 22: Bluff City Bandits (Lakeland Homecoming with Ted Horrell and the Night Card opening).

For more information on “Live Music at the LAMP,” call (901) 867-2717 or visit lakelandtn.gov