Real Good for FREE: Empire State Plaza Concerts

Well, we already announced that ’60s British Invasion art-rockers the Zombies were playing a free concert on Wednesday, June 26, but now the folks at the New York State Office of General services have announced the full line-up on concerts, festivals and other outdoor events for the summer season of performances at the Empire State Plaza in Albany.

Here’s the line-up of events:

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THE ZOMBIES
with Et Tu Bruce
Wednesday, June 26, 5pm
Original bandmembers Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent lead the British Invasion vets through their hits “She’s Not There,” “Tell Her No,” “Time of the Season” and more.

FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION
Featuring Johnny Rivers
Thursday, July 4, 3pm
Presented by Price Chopper, the annual holiday celebration features fun for the whole family – including the best fireworks show in the region. ’60s hitmaker Johnny Rivers headlines the day-long fest, which also includes performances by the United States Military Academy Band, Johnny Raab & the Jailhouse Rockers, the Chris Dukes Band and the Bluz House Rockers.

GE’s KIDS DAY
Sunday, July 7, 12noon
Sponsored by General Electric, this is the place to be for kids of all ages, as Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends pull into the station for a sing-along adventure. Also interactive games, children’s activities, face painting, clowns and arts & crafts.

KANSAS
Wednesday, July 10, 5pm
The Summer At the Plaza concert series continues as veteran progressive rockers Kansas celebrate their 40th anniversary, as they pump out such hits as “Carry On Wayward Son” and “Dust in the Wind.”

BRET MICHAELS
Wednesday, July 24, 5pm
The lead singer for Poison and reality TV show regular (most recently on “Celebrity Apprentice,” Michaels leads his other band onto the Plaza for a hard-rockin’, skinny-boppin’ show.

AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILY DAY
Featuring Heatwave
Saturday, August 3, 12noon
Sponsored by McDonald’s, it’s the annual celebration of the traditions of the African American community through music, art and dance featuring a variety of family-oriented activities. Disco-funk band Heatwave headlines the fest with such dance hits as “Boogie Nights,” “Always and Forever” and “The Groove Line.” Numerous local choirs, dance groups, and local talent contest winners will also perform.

NEW YORK STATE FOOD FESTIVAL
Featuring Blues Traveler
Wednesday, August 14, 11am
Sample foods from around the region while enjoying the sounds of musical acts all day long. The festival’s lunch-time show will feature Local 518 faves, El Dorados, followed at 5pm by Wild Adriatic and the Daley Brothers and veteran jam-band Blues Traveler led by master harmonicat John Popper.

“WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY”
Wednesday, August 21, 8pm
Open Air Cinema screens the 1971 musical film, starring Gene Wilder in the title role.

“MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE’S MOST WANTED”
Wednesday, August 28, 8pm
Dreamworks’ 2012 animated film features the voices of Ben Stiller, Frances McDormand and David Schwimmer.

MAYER HAWTHORNE
Saturday, September 7, 2pm
Up and coming neo-soul singer Mayer Hawthorne takes over the Empire State Plaza. Opening acts TBA.

HISPANIC HERITAGE CELEBRATION
Saturday, September 14, 3pm
Presented by Hannaford, the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration will highlight many facets of Hispanic culture from food to music. Performers TBA.

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