Fritz’s Polka Band to open ‘Betsy’ concerts

MARCY — Strike up the band! The "Betsy" Concert Series returns to Erie Canal Lock 20 Thursday.

Opening night features Fritz’s Polka Band. The program is free and starts at 6:30 p.m. Attendees are reminded to bring own blankets or lawn chairs to sit on.

The season continues through Sept. 3 at the River Road location.

The concerts began 26 years ago when the state made available a barge to be used by the towns and villages located along the canal. With the barge docked at Lock 20, performers used it as a stage. Concerts are new held under a pavilion at the lock.

The summer concert series will end on Labor Day, Sept. 3, with Irish groups and bands entertaining from 1 p.m. until dusk.

The rest of the schedule of concerts that begin at 6:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted is:

-- July 5: Country traditions with The Streators.

-- July 12: The Clef Dwellers with Don Cantwell, featuring TJ Howard.

-- July 19: Dharma Bums String Band.

-- July 20: Pick ‘n EZ.

-- July 26: Old country Music featuring the Nelson Brothers.

-- Aug. 2: Diamond Some Day with Ed Vancott.

-- Aug. 9: Holidaye.

-- Aug. 16: Mardi Gras Five with TJ Howard.

-- Aug. 17: The Roots of Rock and Roll.

-- Aug. 23: The Trinkaus Manor Quartet with George Staley, 6 p.m.

-- Aug. 24: Double Image, 6 p.m.

-- Aug 30: Country Gospel with Julian and Bonnie George, 6 p.m.

-- Aug 31: The Mark Bolos Band 6 p.m.

-- Sept. 3: Floyd Community Band, Johnston School of Irish Dancing, Butler Sheehan Academy, Big Band Sound of Easy Money, and Koltis, starting at 1 p.m.

Series sponsors are Town of Marcy, M&T Bank, Time Warner Cable, Marcy Chamber of Commerce, North Utica-Whitestown Rotary, The Ancient Order of Hibernians, Clifford Fuel, CNY Business Solutions and the state Canal Corp.