By DIANE TURNER-HURNS
Journal & Topics Reporter
MB Financial Park at Rosemont has come a long way since it opened in 2012. As park officials kick-off their second annual "Rockin’ in the Park 2015" concert and fireworks series this Sunday, May 24, they prepare for another busy summer season of live entertainment.
Up first for the concert series will be a Hawaiian-themed pub crawl Sunday with a concert featuring Johnny Russler and the Beach Bum Band.
The Park, or entertainment district, first opened in 2012 with just one venue, the Muvico movie theaters.
Today, it has spread to 200,000 sq. ft., home to 12 venues offering international cuisine, live music, comedy, state-of-the-art film, bowling, skydiving lessons and more.
“This new entertainment district in Rosemont is a one-stop suburban destination for big city dining, entertainment, nightlife, and family fun,” MB Financial Park at Rosemont Event Manager Sarah Clemmensen told the Journal & Topics. “We want all of our customers to experience MB Park's mini mile of entertainment, dining and year-round fun from our summer concert series and sporting events to the magic of what Frozemont will bring back to the park this winter season too.”
Muvico was followed by Five Roses Pub and Kings bowling alley to open in the Park.
From a business perspective, the Park also contributes greatly to the overall economy by providing other Rosemont businesses, such as the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Allstate Arena, Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Rosemont Theatre, The Ballpark at Rosemont and other businesses, with additional dining and entertainment options.
“Collectively, the Park works closely with all Rosemont entities including our local businesses and the Fashion Outlets in planning season to season ongoing activities such as Frozemont, which includes the ice rink, hockey season and the new Polar Peak,” Clemmensen said. “Along with everything that falls under our summer season umbrella such as Rockin in the Park, yoga, zumba, pub crawls and free bags night. We work hard at not only growing everything every year but also communicating that Rosemont is a great place for that ‘staycation’ experience.”
Clemmensen said based on gross sales at restaurants in the Park, customer growth each year since 2012 has been in the double digits. However, Clemmensen notes, not all the restaurants were open in 2014 or 2013 in the Park, including Sugar Factory, so they expect to have better numbers this year.
Those numbers are expected to go up as the free summer concert series, group exercise programs, fireworks, game nights and more continue to bring customers to Rosemont.
Last summer, the concert series was packed with people of all ages from around the greater Chicago area enjoying good weather, music and fireworks on the lawn.
This year the concerts will be held every Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Fireworks will follow most of the concerts. In all, 16 concerts will be held.
The summer band lineup includes Tons of Fun (May 28); Final Say (June 4); Dick Holliday and the Bamboo Gang (June 11); American English (June 18); Benny C & the Associates (June 25); Pride of Lions (July 2); Heartache Tonight (July 9); Live The Who (July 16); Hi Infidelity (July 23); Chicago Experience (July 30); Atomic Punks (Aug. 6); West Side Winders (Aug. 13); Kashmir (Aug. 20); Slippery When Wet (Aug. 27); Libido Funk Circus (Sept. 3); and on Sunday, Sept. 6 JakTripper will play.
Click here to view the full lineup