Click to play an audio version of this article —
By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (May 27, 2022) – Throughout the summer, hundreds of local residents will again gather at Fox Pointe for music, food, festivals, and community enjoyment.
As it hosts its first Wednesday evening concert on June 1, Fox Pointe will begin its third year of regular performances since opening in the fall of 2018. After a debut concert season in 2019, and a COVID-cancelled summer schedule in 2020, last year’s season was a success, and drew an average crowd of 750-1,000 people — local and otherwise — to downtown Lansing on evenings throughout the summer.
This year, the Village of Lansing will look to capitalize on last year’s successes, sample some new offerings, and apply what they have learned from two years’ experience.
“Each year is like another step up,” said Village Communications Director Ken Reynolds, “We’re kind of doing last year better this year.”
Wednesday series — fewer dates, time changes, opening acts
Though venturing further into specialty events this year, Fox Pointe’s primary rhythm remains its Wednesday evening concert series. This year’s schedule has been cut short by a month, however, as the Village hopes to dodge both poor fall weather and late-concert-season fatigue. Last year’s series ended on October 6; this year’s will end on September 7.
Gates will open at 6 p.m. again this year, though the headline act will not take the stage until 7:30, a half hour later than last year. To fill that time, Fox Pointe will host an opening act before the main headliner takes the stage. The opening act will be a smaller band that starts its set shortly after the gates open.
“Then the headliner will go 7:30 to 9:30, a straight set. This is nice because they won’t take the break at 8:15,” said Fox Pointe Director Tony Troncozo, explaining that in the past years the intermission at 8:15 was often a point when some of the crowd would leave.
“If you’ve got a good band and they’re cooking, people will say, ‘Oh we’ll stay to the end, it’s only 9:30.’ That’s what we’re shooting for; that’s the change there,” Troncozo said.
In-house food, drinks, and souvenir items
This season will be the first to use the fully-realized Fox Pointe kitchen and concession stand. Though selling drinks has been a staple of the venue from the start, providing food has largely been through partnerships with local vendors and caterers.
Ace Catering is now the primary food provider at Fox Pointe, and will use the new kitchen space to create a variety of food offerings including standard concert fare like burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches, as well as more specialty items, which will be tested throughout the season.
“We will have set items, and then Ray [Kosinski, owner of Ace Catering] will flex some items in certain weeks,” said Village Communications Director Ken Reynolds. “We are finalizing what that signature menu is going to be.”
Guests wanting to purchase alcohol will follow the same pattern as last year by waiting at one of the three windows designated for drinks, a system that was streamlined in 2021 compared to the slower lines of 2019. There will also be a beverage cart in the northwest corner of Fox Pointe, and the pavilion area will often host a specialty vendor for items like desserts.
Near the entrance to the venue, guests will now have the opportunity to purchase four souvenir items: Sweatshirts, T-shirts, koozies for cups and drinks, and glow necklaces.
Special events in 2022
Beyond Wednesday nights, Fox Pointe will reprise many of its events from last year, including Cruise Night concerts; a local band showcase; National Night Out; Blues, Brews & BBQs Fest; Autumn Fest; and a Halloween event.
New events this year will be July’s three-day Palooza at the Pointe, and August’s Cheeseburger in Paradise event. These large events will be the first in Fox Pointe’s short history to charge a small fee for attendance.
Parking, biking, and small new additions
Although a new Fox Pointe parking lot northwest of the venue has been anticipated for over a year, construction has not yet started, and the lot will likely not be completed until next season. The Village of Lansing has been working with the Midwest Water Reclamation District on the project, and meeting the environmentally-friendly qualifications of the project has delayed the process.
Those driving to Fox Pointe this year will have the same parking options as last year, including the Clocktower Plaza lot northwest of the venue, the Santa House lot to the north, the post office lot to the west and south, the Firefighters Memorial lot to the southeast, and others. Though parking on side streets in the area is allowed, parking in municipal lots is recommended. A full list of parking options is available at foxpointe.org/parking.
The venue, which intersects the Pennsy Greenway, also has a dozen bike racks on its south side where riders can tether their bikes during a concert.
Other small additions to the venue include: awnings near the concession windows to combat the bright summer sun, an ornamental iron display in the center gate area of the venue showing the Fox Pointe logo, and new Fox Pointe banners displayed around the venue.
“This is the first year we’ve gone back-to-back with actual programming,” Reynolds said. “I’m confident in this, that at the end of this event season, we will have had a solid ’21, a solid ’22, and we’ll be able to say, ‘What are we?’ And we will really start to establish ourselves as being in this industry.”
Fox Pointe is located at 18138 Henry Street.