Out to Lunch serves up music for 16th year

THE THURSDAY SERIES of Out to Lunch programs is set to start this week and run through Aug. 16 in downtown Iron Mountain. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — Out to Lunch will launch its 16th year Thursday of providing weekly free entertainment in downtown Iron Mountain.

The popular music program will take place every Thursday from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. through Aug. 16 at the Magee Johnson park, at the corner of Hughitt and Iron Mountain streets across from the main Dickinson County Library.

Some benches are provided, but most people bring a lawn chair. While those attending can bring lunch as well, area vendors such as Crispigna’s and Back Room Bakery of Channing again will have food for sale on site, along with new vendors being added.

“I want to make sure people know this very successful program was started originally by just two women, Magee Johnson and Joan Flood,” current Out to Lunch chairwoman Pat Nicometo said. “The idea came from an employee of The Daily News, who had seen a similar program in another area. It started out small, and with determination and perseverance, it’s grown to what it is now top-notch entertainment, great local food vendors, and audiences of 400 or more. And, amazingly, it’s still free. We see the same faces every year, but we also see new faces. People love it, and that makes us happy.”

“We love that we can offer a good variety of entertainment for these concerts” added Amber Pipp, Downtown Development Authority assistant manager/events coordinator. “Out to Lunch has everything from jazz to blues to ’70s.”

This year’s lineup includes:

Thursday: Hand Picked Bluegrass, sponsored by Grandma’s Garden.

June 21: Local Brew, sponsored by First Bank.

June 28: Iron Daisy, sponsored by McCash Investment Management.

July 5: Dickinson County Community Chorus, sponsored by First National Bank.

July 12: Phil Lynch Jazz Quartet, sponsored by Iron Mountain DDA.

July 19: The Cadillacs, sponsored by Hahner Law Office.

July 26: Mike Prusinsky, Safe Sax Quartet, sponsored by Friends of the Braumart.

Aug. 2: The Steenos and Friends, sponsored by Danielson Insurance.

Aug. 9: Flagship Romance, sponsored by The Good Earth Salon.

Aug. 16: Carolyn Jo and Company, sponsored by Russell Game & Associates.

Announcer Mike Carr is back, keeping the program rolling smoothly along each week. Sound engineers Craig Recla and Greg Hunt will use the new iPad-controlled sound system Out to Lunch was able to purchase last year.

Organizers report that the popular weekly drawings will be back again this year. For $1, or six tickets for $5, audience participants can win a variety of gifts donated by local businesses. The grand prize of half the cash has been as high as $250, and winners have walked away with gift certificates for local restaurants, oil changes, huge flower baskets from local greenhouses, and even massages. Area businesses have been very generous with donations, and this helps cover expenses to bring this event to the public for free.

This year, Out to Lunch and Norway’s Music in the Park are working together, with both programs starting Thursday and ending Aug. 16. Program organizers plan to promote concerts jointly, and have been coordinating efforts to bring top groups to Dickinson County.

Those who enjoy the Cadillacs at Out to Lunch on July 19, for example, can see them again at 7 p.m. in Norway.

Miss the Flagship Romance performance Aug. 9 in Iron Mountain? No problem — they’ll be on stage that night at Music Under the Stars at Lake Antoine Park.

Out to Lunch is organized by the DDA. Jim’s Music is the season sponsor.

If it rains, Out to Lunch shifts to the Braumart Theatre at 106 E. B St., also in downtown Iron Mountain.

For information on Out to Lunch, go online to www.DowntownIronMountain.com/Out-To-Lunch, or call Pat Nicometo at 906-396-7322 or Amber Pipp at 906-774-8534. For information on Norway’s program, call Carol Sundstrom at 906-221-3702.