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ASHLAND -- Thomas Allen of DEPARTURE, a local Journey tribute band, feared the pandemic would kill the local music scene. 

“We were afraid we wouldn’t be able to play again,” Allen said.

However, Allen said he has seen the opposite happen.

“There seems to be more excitement about live music than there was in years past,” he said.

DEPARTURE will kick off Ashland’s Music on Main summer concert series this Saturday, June 12 at 6 p.m. 

“It’s going to be really fun to get back, especially in Ashland,” Allen said, noting the return to live concerts. 

Music on Main will be at a new location from years past  — the plaza on Main Street. DEPARTURE’s concert will be followed by Electric Circus on July 10 and Tom’s Kitchen Table on Aug. 14. The concerts will run from 6 to 9 p.m. and be accompanied by a bar featuring beers from Uniontown Brewing Company.

Music on Main is a part of downtown Ashland’s larger summer event series, featuring farmers markets, parades and more live music.

Farmers markets began June 2 and are scheduled Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the parking lot at 211 Claremont Avenue. The markets will run through Oct. 6. To become a vendor, contact the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce

Ashland Ale Fest will be on June 19 from 4 to 8 p.m., during which attendees can sample Ohio craft beers, enjoy food and listen to live music. Tickets range from $15-54, depending on attendee interests.

If you are the designated driver, or don’t like beer, you can gain entrance for $15, including unlimited access to water and pop, and a food truck voucher ticket.

General admission, entry and 10 beer tickets, costs $38. It costs $54 to be a VIP, which means you can enter the fest early, at 3 p.m., receive 15 beer tickets, a food truck voucher and an Ashland Ale Fest tasting glass. Attendance at Ale Fest is limited to people over 21 years of age. It will be held rain or shine.

The Push ‘Em Pull ‘Em parade, described as a “patriotic parade for children,” will occur on July 3. Children of all ages are encouraged to attend.

There is only one rule: no motorized vehicles — electric or gas-powered. Bicycles, skateboards, scooters, wagons and other self-powered vehicles are welcome. Participants are encouraged to wear patriotic costumes and decorate their entries in a patriotic theme.

Registration will begin at 9 a.m. and the parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the Substance Church, located at 101 South Street.

Ashland’s Dream Cruise and Car Show will be July 10 from noon to 4 p.m., marking its 11th year. This annual event helps fund “Shop with a Cop,” an event during the winter holiday season when officers from park rangers to patrol officers go gift shopping with children.

The car show starts at noon and the cruise starts at 3 p.m. Registration opens at 8 a.m. 

Play Music on the Porch Day will occur on August 28 as a part of a worldwide movement to unite people through music. Various businesses in Ashland will have musical acts performing in front of their stores from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and there will also be sidewalk sales throughout the day.

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Emma Davis is a 2021 graduate of the University of Richmond, from which she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and leadership studies. Emma reports for Knox Pages and Ashland Source through Report for America.

Emma Davis is a 2021 graduate of the University of Richmond, from which she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and leadership studies. Emma reports for Knox Pages and Ashland Source through Report for America.