NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodNeenah


'Out to Lunch' free concerts bring together community members of all ages, backgrounds

Crowd gathered at Shattuck Park in Neenah
Posted at 6:53 PM, Jul 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-06 19:53:23-04

NEENAH (NBC 26) — Shattuck Park by the Riverside in downtown Neenah is host to an outdoor concert series every Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. It's appropriately called "Out to Lunch."

Out to Lunch is a free event that brings together community members of all ages. New mothers and their babies are just as welcome to come and enjoy the live entertainment as residents of retirement homes.

For children, bubbles and games like corn hole or giant Connect Four are available distractions.

For all, food trucks visit the event so you don't have to brown bag it... but you're certainly allowed, if that's your preference!

“You're enjoying lunch, you're enjoying the park, you're enjoying the waterfront, good company. It's the complete package,” said Sara Hanneman.

Hanneman is the assistant executive director for Future Neenah. She said the event has run since the summer of 2005, and noted that it is impressive to have run for so long.

"That's a long time to have a community-supported event like this," Hanneman said.

Workers at the nearby businesses are also invited to sneak away to enjoy the entertainment while it's underway.

“It's just community supporting community,” said Hanneman.

The event began because of a promise from Future Neenah.

“We promised the community that if they helped us raise the funds to make this a beautiful community park space that we would assist in programming it, and thus the out-to-lunch concert series was born,” said Hanneman.

Future Neenah's event coordinator works to select a wide range of musical stylings, from blues to pop and everything in between. Selections begin well in advance — planning for the summer series starts around December of the previous year.

“It's a great mix of community members that are coming out, and we have some great local and regional bands. So, it's just a fun, fun way to wrap up your summer week,” Hanneman said.

Every week, the chosen performer is different.

“I'm originally from Neenah. And so anytime I have an opportunity to perform for my hometown that supported my musical love, I always come back and sing," said vocalist B.D. Greer.

She performed on the Shattuck Park stage on July 6.

That show was sponsored by the Fox Valley Memory Project.

"One of the things that I think is just an amazing thing that Future Neenah does is that it brings, you know, the older population together with the younger population, so inter-generational population[s] are interacting and being out together out in the public, just natural and having fun and having a good time," said Carissa Paul, program manager at Fox Valley Memory Project.

"Music brings out the best of memories, and so I think this is such a great, great opportunity for us to be part of," Paul said.

To learn more about the concert series or view a list of upcoming performers, you can visit the Future Neenah concerts page.