Elk Grove Village opened with America on Tuesday, and before July is through four more star-studded bands will have passed through -- Survivor, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, John Michael Montgomery and Kenny Loggins.
The sixth annual Mid-Summer Classics Concert Series kicked off Tuesday with America, led by Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell, known for hits "A Horse with No Name," "Sister Golden Hair" and "Ventura Highway," among many others.
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The free Tuesday concerts all start at 7:30 p.m. on the Village Green, 901 Wellington Ave. between the municipal complex and library.
Officials say 2014 is the biggest lineup yet -- all possible because of extra funding that became available with the discontinuation of the Tour of Elk Grove.
The international cycling event was canceled after eight years because of a scheduling conflict with USA Cycling and the International Cycling Union. Village officials decided to take part of the money that would have funded the 2014 bike race and dedicate it to the summer concert series.
The funds come from a 1 percent village hotel-motel tax paid by overnight guests at 13 hotels in Elk Grove Village.
The village is paying $260,000 and the park district is contributing $50,000 for the concerts, to pay for the musicians' fees, staging, lighting, insurance and banners.
The village contracts with Elk Grove-based Entertainment Management Group to manage the concert series.
Audience members can set up chairs in front of the stage not before 2 p.m. the day of each concert. Chairs can be set up farther back on the Village Green earlier.
Parking is available at the Elk Grove Park District Pavilion, St. Julian Eymard Church, Admiral Byrd School, Salt Creek School and the Alexian Brothers Medical Center Eberle parking garage.
Handicapped parking is available at the fire station and library, which is closing at 5 p.m. on concert days because of the expected crowds.
Officials are projecting a total attendance of 50,000 for the five July concerts.