The Star-Herald

Common Crossing kicks off Riverside concert series

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Hundreds of community members filled the Riverside pavilion in downtown Presque Isle the evening of May 31 for the first of six concerts in the 2018 Rocking on Riverside series.

Local band Common Crossing — featuring lead vocalist and guitarist Brian Mosher, bass player and vocalist Shane Mountain and drummer Doug Cronkhite — kicked off the third annual concert series with many original songs including “442,” “Midnight Girl,” and “The Band in the Baby Blue Van,” while mixing in cover songs such as The Romantics’ “What I Like About You.”

Despite temperatures that remained in the high 80s throughout the evening, people parked their folding chairs in the shade by the pavilion and relaxed as they listened to the music. Many also checked out the 26 community and business vendors that sold food and offered fun crafts and activities for children and families.

“I usually come to every concert that they put on during the summer,” said Haley Cormier of Presque Isle. “There’s good music and food and it’s a good event for everyone in the community.”

As the first hour of the concert passed, more and more people arrived to enjoy the music, catch up with friends and enjoy the hot summer weather.

“It’s a nice event to come to when you’re just getting out of work,” said Neil Barry of Presque Isle. “We get to relax, enjoy local bands and see people that we might not get to see everyday.”

Rocking on Riverside began in 2016 as a way for the City of Presque Isle and the Presque Isle Downtown Revitalization Committee to bring more attention to businesses and activities in the city’s downtown region. Though originally held on Main Street, the committee moved the concerts to Riverside last year because of concerns about traffic and as one of many efforts to renew interest in that area of the city.

The concerts have typically drawn between 400 and 500 people at each event, according to Presque Isle Downtown Revitalization Committee Chair Clint Deschene. This summer’s series will feature returning favorites Star City Syndicate on June 14 and August 9, Wally and the Virginians on July 12, and Rock Dox on July 26. New to the series is the band Tennessee Haze, who will perform on June 28. All concerts occur every other Thursday until Aug. 9 in an effort to not book shows on the same nights as Caribou’s Thursdays on Sweden Street events.

“We try to find bands that have different styles so that there’s something for everyone to enjoy,” Deschene said. “They’re all great local bands with good followings and I think that helps build a sense of community.”

This year’s series also features a new acoustic band shell, which the Presque Isle Police Department purchased with unclaimed drug money. The new venue layout also features a beer garden underneath the pavilion, the band shell on the grass near the pavilion, and children’s activities on the grass north of the band shell.

For more information about the Rockin’ on Riverside concert series and other events, go to the Presque Isle Downtown Revitalization Committee’s Facebook page.

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