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SMC co-sponsoring July's ‘Summer in the City’

Nashville’s Kari Lynch Band, an American Idol contender and Summer on Tap featuring Sister Lakes Brewing Co., plus action events headline Dowagiac Summer in the City festival July 20-23. This community’s largest and oldest summertime gala is fully funded this year by the local community through 15 corporate sponsors, including Southwestern Michigan College, according to Vickie Phillipson, program director for the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Authority (DDA).

Phillipson raises the monies needed to fund the presentation of vocal, instrumental and specialty entertainment. She also oversees scheduling, advertising and advance publicity for the event. 

“While the festival in recent years was funded primarily by grant dollars, this year’s event truly represents a strong commitment to our community by local corporations that stepped forward to help underwrite the $11,300 four-day celebration,” Phillipson said.

The Chamber is pleased to welcome the following corporate sponsors: AK Montgomery, Burling & Gillesby DDS, Chemical Bank, Clark Chapel/Starks Family Funeral Homes, Creative Vinyl Signs, D. MottL Realty Group, Dowsett Chiropractic Health Center, Kim MacGregor’s Office of Edward Jones, Family Fare, Four Winds Casino, Lyons Industries, SMC, Wightman & Associates, Who Knew? Consignment and Wolverine Mutual Insurance Co.

The summer gala kicks off Thursday evening, July 20, at 7 p.m. as American Idol contender Jared Knox and the Hagar Bombs take the stage at Beckwith Park. 

Knox, who is said to be one of the finest up and coming musicians in southwest Michigan, has opened for such country greats as Lorrie Morgan, Chris Cagle and Tracy Lawrence. 

The special 90-minute performance, beginning at 7 p.m., is being presented in conjunction with the Beckwith Park Summer Concert Series, underwritten by Chemical Bank, Honor Credit Union and Huntington Bank. 

The festival swings into full gear Friday and Saturday, featuring sidewalk sales, entertainment and children’s events, and wraps up Sunday with ACTION’s Community Praise Jam at 2 p.m.

Food, craft and commercial vendors who would like to reserve booth space at the festival may do so by contacting the Chamber at (269) 782-8212, by visiting or by e-mail at