9 reasons to celebrate summer

22nd annual Concerts in the Village runs Thursday evenings May 4-June 29

Sponsored Content Special to The Sun

Thanks to Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s nine-week Concerts in the Village summer series, orchestrating a family outing al fresco along the gorgeous Emerald Coast is a breeze.

This year, MKAF presents the 22nd annual installation of the nine-week Concerts in the Village series every Thursday from May 4 through June 29 at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village located at 4323 Commons Drive West in Destin.

Entertaining local, regional and national touring bands will hit the Dugas Pavilion stage to perform everything from Motown to modern rock and from Caribbean rhythms to beachy blues and from folk to funk. This year’s rocking roster includes two talented bands paying tribute to the timeless classic music of The Eagles as well as rock legend Joe Cocker.

The 2017 season schedule opens on May 4 with Emerald Gold (Motown revue); May 11, Flow Tribe (Cuban-Caribbean with R&B); May 18, Fountain City Players (Motown oldies and classic rock); May 25, Alter Eagles (Eagles tribute band); June 1, The Embers (beach music); June 8, The Maxx (classic oldies and pop tunes); June 15, Tyler Kinchen & the Right Pieces (R&B and funk); June 22 Triggerproof (popular pop, rock & Top 40) and The Joe Band (tribute to rock legend Joe Cocker).

“We invite everyone to come dance and sing your way into the summer season! If you haven’t come to the Concerts in the Village or haven’t been in a while, we invite you to gather with us among family and friends for a true summertime celebration of music, food and fun,” said Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation CEO Marcia Hull.

Bring a lawn chair or blanket, picnic and wine or purchase soft drinks and dinner prepared by a featured restaurant or food trucks on site and just sit back and relax on the Village Green at this come-as-you-are family friendly event.

Admission is $15 for adults; children (12 and under) and MKAF members are free. Children under 17 must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Purchase tickets at the gate, which opens at 6 p.m. The concerts begin at 7 p.m. Don’t miss the chance to enter the charity raffle. The drawing for nearly a dozen exciting prize packages is held during intermission. Proceeds from the event benefit MKAF’s community outreach programs.

The concerts are rain or shine. All sales are final, sorry, no refunds. Pets, tables larger than two feet and drones are not permitted.

“No question about it, the arts are integral to having a whole community," Hull said. "All of MKAF’s signature cultural events go a long way towards funding empowering arts programming for children, youth and adults with special needs, and emerging therapeutic programs for our local disabled veterans.”

For more information on how you can make a donation or explore becoming a member, sponsor, volunteer or board member, call 850-650-2226 or visit

Follow MKAF on Facebook at MattieKellyArtsFoundation and join the conversation using hashtags #MKAF and #MKAFCIV.