Allerton Irish Fest crowd

MONTICELLO — Look for some new genres along with the established favorites at the Allerton Park & Retreat Center Concert Series Presented by the Ayers Family in 2023.

The always-popular Irish Fest is back on Sept. 8 at the Monticello-area park, and Reds, Whites & the Blues returns on July 7, but Allerton Senior Program Coordinator Olivia Bunting said the concert menu is expanding this year.

“We have alternative rock, reggae, and funk and soul,” Bunting said of the five-concert schedule. “I’m excited for all of these concerts this year because of the new genres and our efforts to make everyone feel welcome and accepted. Everyone deserves a place at Allerton.”

The concerts kick off June 3 with “LOVE FOR ALLerton” celebrating Pride Month and the classic rock stylings of Bad Medicine and Lipstick Jodi.

It ends almost four months later with jazz and funk music of The North 41 takes the outdoor stage.

In between will be blues on July 7, reggae on Aug. 5 and Irish Fest in September (see more detail below).

There is a suggested donation of $5 per person, $10 per family for the first four concerts. The fifth (“Summer’s end”) is the only ticketed event at $35 per carload.

Although the last event of the concert season is ticketed, only one ticket per vehicle is needed as Allerton encourages attenders to help in their sustainability efforts by carpooling and using less gasoline. Tickets will be checked at the three-way stop as vehicles arrive.

Each will also feature food vendors and a cash bar, but concert goers can also bring their own food. Concerts will be on the Gatehouse Lawn, and lodging is also available for most of the dates for those wishing to extend their stay.

While the 10-year-old concert series has focused on Friday nights in the past, some of them in 2023 will be on Saturday evening, a conscious decision to make concerts available to more music lovers.

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“Getting out to the park by 6 p.m. on a Friday may not be feasible for some working folks, so we thought: ‘Why not make it a whole day at Allerton on Saturday?’” Bunting said.

“Come out for some hiking, lunch at the Greenhouse Café and stick around for the concert with dinner options available from local food trucks.”

Allerton began its concert series in 2013, and it is presented this year by the Ayers Family, with additional support from The Piatt County Nursing Home, The WHIP, Kirby Medical Center, Black Prairie Ag Service, the Herbold Family Trust, WILL Illinois/Illinois Public Media, The Monarch Events Center and AHW, Inc. More information is available on the park website.

The concert schedule (all start at 6 p.m.):

— Saturday, June 3: “LOVE FOR ALLerton” — Bad Medicine and Lipstick Jodi

— Friday, July 7: “Reds, Whites & the Blues” — Billy Galt & The Blues Deacons and Laurie Morvan Band

— Saturday, Aug. 5: “Reggae” — Gizzae

— Friday, Sept. 8: “Irish Fest” — Celtic Whistle and The Gothard Sisters

— Friday, Sept. 29: “Summer’s End” — The North 41