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Summer concerts pair nature and music

Pack up the youngsters, a picnic basket and a blanket to partake in the summer splendor of outdoor live concerts at Whitetail Woods Regional Park. Submitted photo

Listening to songs while snuggling on a blanket at an outdoor concert is only a few miles away this summer.

Whitetail Woods Regional Park will host a Music in the Park summer concert series. You can sit on the grass and relish in soothing music at the park located between Rosemount and Farmington off Highway 3.

The 456-acre park has scenic vistas, lush tree canopies that frame winding hiking trails inside thick forests and sunny wetlands that border Empire Lake.

Autumn Hubbell, outdoor education coordinator with Dakota County Park system, said the concert series will be even better than last year's first series of free summer concerts.

"We have a honey bee-shaped amphitheater where bands play under a shaded tent and people can sit under the shelter or picnic because that is what is really cool about the location — you can sit in many areas and listen to the concert," Hubbell said.

The Wild Goose Chase Cloggers band will give the first summer lively performance with clogging style dance and music performed with traditional Appalachian sounds.

"This music will be family friendly and that is typically traditional and the blue grass music appeals to all generations," Hubbell said.

Last summer families arrived with picnics and shared a meal while the music played. During the concert, youngsters could play nearby in the imaginative Fawn Crossing Nature Play area filled with cool, natural teepee structures, fort building area with overhead hanging grapevine art sculptures designed by Hastings artist David Cook.

Park visitors can chose to recreate with Frisbee or sit on the grassy expansive area and relax, play yard games or even fly a kite.

"You can bring a blanket or chair, last summer people brought a sun umbrella for shade," Hubbell said.

For more information about parks and summer events in Dakota County, visit www.dakotacounty.usa/parks.

"It is so beautiful to sit on the hill and see a far distance into the countryside and see some amazing high points where you can see beautiful vistas on the summer night," Hubbell said.

"Last summer the weather was super cooperative and you could see the golden sunlit on the green."

If you go:

Music in the Park summer concert series at Whitetail Woods Regional Park will be:

• Saturday, June 24 — Wild Goose Chase Cloggers band

• Saturday, July 29 — Gritpickers band

• Saturday, Aug. 26 — Eelpout Stringers band

All concerts are 6-7:30 p.m. Whitetail Woods Regional Park is at 17100 Station Trail, Farmington.

For more information, go to www.co.dakota.mn.us/parks.

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