BLOG: A Weekend of Outdoor Tunes in Door County

It’s a Friday night and as the coordinator, it’s my job to announce the band we’ve booked for our Summer Concert Series every Friday from 5-7 pm in Baileys Harbor. The crowd has gathered with assorted colored canvas chairs and picnic baskets, to go boxes, and bottles of beer, wine and soda. Dogs are sleepily lounging in the shade of the massive trees lining the Town Hall lawn. Adria Ramos, a talented singer/songwriter from Neenah, takes a couple strums on her guitar as the crowd gets thicker. She gives me the go ahead and I get my minute and a half of absolute terrifying public speaking. “Thank you all for coming out tonight to Baileys Harbor’s Concert in the Park Series Debut! We’ve got a wonderful night for you tonight with Adria Ramos so please sit back, relax, have a glass of wine and enjoy the night!” There, that’s all I have to do… until next week.

After my intro is over I rejoin my family for the show. Our spread consists of four bag chairs, a beach blanket, a sleeping Chesapeake and two squealing little girls chasing my husband, Andy. After the music starts, the girls immediately flock to the front of the lawn and start spinning and jumping clumsily to the melody.  We came prepared with a basket of goodies and drinks and our friends did as well. Across the sidewalk from us, a couple sits down with a pizza box from the restaurant on the corner and start munching away on a fully loaded pizza that smells delicious.


After a couple songs, the girls get a little restless so we take a break from the concert and walk across the street to the Town Marina. A light wind blows in off the lake and cools us down after the warm afternoon. It’s always about 10 degrees cooler on the lakeside than the bayside and it’s all of that tonight. We walk down the north pier and then the larger south pier. The commercial charter boats have already left for the evening but the private boats are just getting ready to go out salmon fishing. The girls run down to the boats and say hi to our neighbors as they cast off lines and pull out of the marina. The girls hop on the giant boulders of the rip rap and beat us to the end of the pier. Needing a break, they plop themselves on the bench and look out at Lake Michigan. Our daughter Andrea points out Birdcage Lighthouse Point and then points to Ridges Beach. It sounds like Adria is starting her second set so we head back to the Town Hall and take up our spot back on the lawn for the remainder of the concert.


Saturday afternoon brings Uncork Summer, a festival up in Ellison Bay. My friend Dani and I wanted to check it out so we head up there midafternoon. Sitting under a large tent, Katie Dahl, who is a local favorite, is crooning away accompanied by her husband and musical partner Rich Higdon. We grab some food to share and settle in to watch the show. The warm summer afternoon is the perfect setting for a summer festival. After she finishes up her set, we walk back to the car and head back to Baileys, welcoming the cooler temps.

Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, I round out the weekend with another concert during the Baileys Harbor Farm Market on Sunday morning. Adria is back playing another round of music for the market goers while they browse. She’s great to listen to and the crowd loves her. While our daughter spends time with her Papa Joe, Andy and I shop around and find pulled pork sandwiches from one of the vendors. We ordered a fresh squeezed lemonade and pulled pork sandwiches from them and grabbed a picnic table out front. Our dog Sierra slept lazily under the picnic table while we ate and listened to the music. After eating, we took a stroll back over to the marina to check the water and said hi to some of our friends who work as charter captains before heading back to pick up Andrea.


All in all, you’re not going to have a bad weekend in Door County and I’m here to show you that no matter when you get here and where you are staying, there is live music to be heard. If you are looking for a complete schedule of the Concerts in the Park Series put on by the villages and towns, click here to download the schedule.