From the music of Rascal Flatts to Billy Joel to Taylor Swift, a free concert series is launching in Green

Captain Fantastic 3
On June 21, the Central Park Summer Celebration will feature “Captain Fantastic – The Magic of Elton John.”

By Mitch Allen

One of the City of Green’s top amenities is Central Park, which features the Community Hall, a gaga ball pit, a 1-mile walking trail, three ponds, a playground, a splash pad, and, of course, the amphitheater.

But since the pandemic, there has not been an organized, concentrated effort to invite people to the amphitheater. That’s changing this year.

When Mayor Rocco P. Yeargin took office in January, he asked residents what they wanted. “One of the things I heard was that people wanted to see more going on in central Green,” he says. “So we thought, let’s organize a concert series.”

Involving the Community
But the mayor didn’t want his team to choose the performers. He asked the community to do that. “I’ve tried to make it part of my process that we solicit the community’s opinions and ask people to be a part of the process,” he says. “And when people are a part of the process, they become invested. They become ambassadors.”

Friday, June 7 is the opening concert night, featuring “Broken Road: Salute to Rascal Flatts” at 7 p.m.

That’s when Mayor Yeargin got to work organizing a January focus group to help determine which acts would be invited to this year’s celebration. “They came up with some great ideas and we now have a top line-up of performers in a variety of genres, including our three large acts—a salute to Rascal Flatts on June 7, Billy Joel and Elton John tributes on June 2, and a Taylor Swift dance party on July 19. That’s a good example of the importance of involving the community. I don’t think we would have thought to have a Taylor Swift dance party if we would have chosen these performers ourselves.”

Once the work of the focus group was completed, there was another hurdle to overcome: money. “We had a limited budget for a concert series, but that would cover only half the costs,” Director of Public Service Valerie Wax Carr says. “The mayor encouraged us to find a sponsor and we did. Serra Auto Park stepped up to become the major sponsor. Their participation is essential to the success of the concert series, allowing us to secure the three large acts.”

What’s on the Stage
Opening night of the free concert series kicks off strong on Friday, June 7, featuring “Broken Road: Salute to Rascal Flatts” at 7 p.m. A large crowd is expected because not only does the band have a loyal following, but the concert also follows the Portage Lakes Running Company’s Adult Track Meet.

“Adult track is growing in popularity,” Mayor Yeargin says. “It’s not like a typical 5K. You can participate in sprints, a 1-mile race, a 4x100 relay. It’s a chance to relive your glory days and see if you’ve still got it. We’re proud and excited this group has chosen to host their adult track meet here in Green.” (For more information on the Portage Lakes Running Company, visit

The second of the three large events is June 21 and features two different acts—”52nd Street – The Music of Billy Joel” and “Captain Fantastic – The Magic of Elton John.”

The June 21 concert will also showcase “52nd Street – The Music of Billy Joel.”

Both the June 7 and June 21 concert nights will feature food trucks with alcohol available for purchase.

The third large act is the “Taylor Swift Ultimate Dance Party hosted by Sparky B” on July 19. “All of our concerts and events are family-friendly, but because Taylor Swift is so popular with kids, the dance party will feature food trucks but no alcohol,” Valerie says.

The Green Alumni Association will be featuring concerts in August, with Murfies Law on August 3 and Aftermath on August 24.

Other concert nights include symphonic music, a brass band, music of the ’60s, and two family movie nights: Migration and Kung Fu Panda 4. The celebration concludes with a community tailgate on Friday, September 6, before the Green vs. Tallmadge football game, featuring food trucks, outdoor games and other activities.

For details and a complete list of events in the City of Green’s Central Park Summer Celebration, visit Look for more details in the special fold-out feature coming in the City of Green’s “Our Town” newsletter.