Rock & Rails
May 25, 2017
Rock & Rails will kick off its 12th summer concert series on June 1 with Mojomama w/ Bass Legends as the headliner at Whistle Stop Park in Niwot.
Nick G and Nalani will open the event with music starting at 5 p.m. The headliner usually begins around 6:30 p.m.
The weekly event is sponsored by the Niwot Cultural Arts Association in conjunction with the Niwot Business Association, and is free to the public each Thursday from June 1 to August 31.
One of the three event managers, Vicki Maurer, said that the two groups are excited to put on another series.
“It’s going to be great,” Maurer said. “In the past we went into to September, but we decided that that was a little too late. June, July and August are good.”
The lineup of bands for this year can be found in the ad to the right.
“We have several bands that we’ve had before,” Maurer said. “We also have several new ones, and there are 14 shows this year.” Satir DeMarco, like Maurer, a member of the NCAA board of directors, books all of the music for the event, and has done so every year since its inception.
The opening acts include many local musicians from the Niwot-Longmont-Gunbarrel area, such as Tim Ostdieck, Dean Himes, and DeMarco’s daughter, Nalani. Legitimate by Friday, a band which includes Niwot High grads Mike Anderson and Michael Warren, also returns this summer, along with the Niwot Community Semi-Marching Free Grange Band, which has been known to lend its horn section to Legitimate by Friday.
The main acts also include local musicians, such as Niwot residents Mike Holubec with The Last Men on Earth, and headliner Rebecca Folsom.
While the event is free, donations are accepted for a specific non-profit cause at each show. Last year the tip jars raised an average of $888 for each of 13 non-profits, including the Niwot Patriotic Cookie Moms and the Niwot Historical Society.
The June 1 recipient will be the Niwot High School volleyball team. They also happen to operate the bike valet service at the park for all Rock & Rails events and have been for the past five years.
“They also actually run the bike parking area,” Maurer said. “So we have a secure place for people who want to ride down. It’s free, but they accept tips. As far as I know, we’ve never had any bikes stolen.
“The pedicabs are back also, they’re free to ride but they do accept tips as well.” Another freindly face returning is Jody Evans and her hula hoops. Evans missed last season, but will be back dancing this summer.
Another thing Maurer wanted to remind attendees of is the rules pertaining to alcohol. None is allowed to be brought into, or taken out of, the park.
People may bring coolers with food and other beverages in, but there are also food trucks on site. The NCAA and NBA also sell beer, wine and margaritas, with the proceeds from sales covering many of the expenses of the concert series.
Many local businesses sponsor the concerts, and their sponsorship covers the cost of the bands, including regional favorites Face, Chris Daniels & the Kings, The Long Run, and Hazel Miller.
This season, sponsorships are up as more and more businesses see the value of bringing folks to Niwot. The Niwot Local Improvement District also contributes $10,000 toward the event’s expenses, including advertising and security costs.
The managers also emphasize the importance of obeying parking signs and being a good neighbor. Parking ambassadors are on site to assist with parking, including handicapped parking.
“We just ask people to obey the parking signs that are out,” Maurer said. “The biggest thing we stress is that we have to keep alcohol inside Whistle Stop Park — it does not include Children’s Park. We hope people honor that because we could lose our liquor license and the ability to serve at the concerts.”
Maurer added that the point of Rock & Rails is to get the community together and enjoy a good evening.
“Rock & Rails is really just about getting outside together and having fun,” Maurer said. “It’s a family-friendly atmosphere where anyone can come have a good time.”