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Things are starting to heat up in our city's center!

The Farmers’ Market outdoor season is in full swing, and the special event calendar is packed full with reasons for you to spend your summer downtown.

The Wednesday afternoon lunchtime concerts return to Wither’s Park on May 29 with a solo performance by Marc Boon. Additional concerts, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., will feature Patrick Campbell, The Aristocrats and Jim and Tommy.

The Bloomington Public Library’s annual summer reading program will kick off with a party on May 30. The party will feature book-based activities, crafts, music and story-telling from Mike Lockett and the Twin City Tale Spinners.

Program participants can pick up their reading logs at the library, at the Bookmobile, or print one from the website.

The reading program theme is “It’s Showtime” at Bloomington Public Library, but why stop there? It’s show time all over downtown Bloomington!

Grossinger Motors Arena welcomes Sublime with Rome on June 5. The Ska-punk trio is joined on their tour by Soja and Common Kings.

First Fridays continue all summer long, highlighted by the return of Cogs and Corsets: A Steampunk Happening, on June 7-9. This exciting blend of Victorian-era fashion and historic technology will feature performances by ArcAttack and Joshua Kane, hosted by the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts.

First Fridays is a monthly downtown open house with extended business hours, retail and dining specials, fine art exhibits, entertainment and much more.

The Annual WGLT Summer Concert will heat up the museum square on June 8, with performances by 3rd Street Down, The Something Brothers, Rebirth Brass Band and Adia Victoria.

The 11th annual Midwest Punk Fest returns June 13-16, featuring more than 50 bands on two stages over four days at Nightshop, 517 N. Main St.

Car enthusiasts will enjoy a visit from the Ocean to Ocean Model T Club, which will stop downtown as part of its cross-country journey. You can view vintage vehicles on the square on June 24.

Local car clubs will cruise into the square on July 20 as part of the Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66. Classics and muscle cars will be on display from 3 to 6 p.m., along with live music from Back@cha.

The festival itself runs July 19-21 at various locations in Bloomington.

The BCPA welcomes Karen Waldrup and Casey Jones for a fun outdoor concert on the lawn on July 13.

The Castle Theatre has a full summer lineup, including the Black Dirt Music Festival featuring a reunion of Backyard Tire Fire, with special guests Chicago Farmer, Matthew Curry, Edward David Anderson and his Black Dirt Revival, and John Till on July 27.

The Front Street Music Festival returns Aug. 17, hosted by Jazz Upfront, your home for great jazz and blues all year long.

With more than 30 unique retailers, 18 art galleries and 20 dining options to choose from, there is always something to experience in downtown Bloomington.

For a complete list of things to add to your summer calendars, visit www.downtownbloomington.org.

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Stiller is downtown development specialist, city of Bloomington.

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