Music on Third Street

MARQUETTE – Live music by talented locals is intended to draw community members together on the sidewalks of Third Street this summer for Music on Third, a 4-year-old tradition that is free to the public, sponsored and coordinated by the Downtown Development Authority.

Thursday evening was the first event of the summer, with two more to follow.

From 6-8 p.m. July 17 and Aug. 21, musicians like Eclettico, The Circle of Willis, Green Gene, Fast Eddie, Log Jam, Tyler Detloff and rotating bands at Blackrocks Brewery will play outside the more than 100 shops and restaurants that line Third Street.

DDA Promotions and Events Coordinator Samantha Collins said it’s a “feel-good, street-side summer event” meant to foster an increased sense of community.

“It creates a really beautiful atmosphere for people walking along the streets and it gives people who maybe otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to stop and see some of the shops along Third,” she said.

Collins said it’s an event people usually stumble upon by accident, but since it has been around and promoted now for several years, people are starting to look for it. And businesses benefit from the exposure.

“You see a whole different side of downtown versus just driving through it and parking at the stores you always go into,” Collins said. “It’s a fun event, and it happens during a time of day that families can get out and enjoy the weather after work.”

“It’s really cool that our community does this,” said musician Gretchen McKenzie who was playing with her brother, Dawson, in a group they call the Ginger Snaps. “It’s just nice to have music integrated right into our main street like this.”

Marquette Native Gina O’Donnell, who was sitting outside Blackrocks Brewery listening to the band, Derrell Syria Project, said the event was a draw for her, though she frequents Blackrocks for the music and beer anyway.

“I absolutely love the idea of Music on Third Street,” O’Donnell said. “I love that the weather’s finally nice enough that everyone can come out and enjoy it. This is our first stop, and we’re going to hit all the other places along the way. It’s nice to socialize, have a beer, and we’re just absolutely loving it.”

In case of rain, this year “Music on Third” will be rescheduled for the following Thursday, unlike years past when the event was just canceled.

“But the musicians do get tents set up for them, so if it’s just sprinkling a little bit, then we wouldn’t cancel,” Collins said. “It would have to be pretty treacherous for us to cancel.”