Last season the BlueClaws stadium added a new Biergarten, mini-golf, boardwalk games and an added night of fireworks. This season BlueClaws brings it all back with a few more new additions for fans to rejoice over.
THE BIERGARTEN AND SUMMER CONCERT SERIES
“So we have the Biergarten and it’s been really popular last summer, that was our debut,” shared Greg Giombarrese, director of communications for the Lakewood BlueClaws.
Every week Thirsty Thursday will continue to take place in the Biergarten with $1 Coors and Coors light drafts along with wing specials from Quaker Steak and Lube.
“So that’s every Thursday and those are really good,” said Giombarrese. “Fridays this year we added in Fiesta Fridays so we do nachos, BlueClaws bowls and some other food and drink specials. That’s every Friday.
“Then Saturdays, starting in June, will be the Summer Concert Series. Just as we did last year, we’ll have bands each week and they will be out there.”
Some of the Summer Concert Series’ most popular performing acts will be back for another season.
“ … Last year we had Splintered Sunlight and they’ll be back on June 22,” he added. “They’re a Grateful Dead Tribute band and that was immensely popular. We weren’t really sure how that was going to go, but it turned out to be really tremendous so that was great.”
Country band After the Reign will also return as well as the Parrot Beach Band, which is a Jimmy Buffet-style tribute band. Asbury Fever will perform on July 27 for Bruce Springsteen night. On Aug. 10, The Snakes will perform for Irish Heritage Night.
“The Snakes have been coming out here for a few years and then the schedules kind of didn’t work and we’re happy to get them back,” said Giombarrese. “They’re really popular. It’s a good program.”
According to Giombarrese, this year the gates will open at 6 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. and the bands will start at 6:30 p.m. in the Biergarten and play into the game. “So you’ll have a lot of fans hang out in the berm over there,” he said.
The TVs in the Biergarten will show the game as well so fans don’t have to worry about missing a thing and they can enjoy drink specials and everything from the comfort of the Biergarten.
“Founders Brewing is the corporate partner on that so they’ll provide a lot of drink specials for those too,” added Giombarrese. “So it’s a good program and it’s been popular over the years. I’m looking forward to bringing it back for 2019.”
In an effort to expand the music offerings, there will be live entertainment every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night in the Biergarten. While the actual band will perform on Saturday, there will be some kind of acoustic performance on Thursdays and Fridays to provide some background noise to the Biergarten.
“ … So then fireworks will follow those Saturday games too,” added Giombarrese. “Last year we added fireworks on Saturdays. This year we have them on Thursdays too and we’ve always had them on Friday. So we’ll go Thursday, Friday and Saturday now.”
That means 26 fireworks displays for the year. Since the season is already underway, three of those shows have already dazzled the night sky. Fans can still look forward to 23 fireworks shows at the stadium for the rest of the season.
“Basically it’s after every Thursday, Friday, Saturday game plus July 3,” he said. “So we’re excited about that. Everybody loves the fireworks and they put on a good show out here.
“So that will be what we’re looking forward to, we’re looking forward to that a lot,” he added.
The addition of the Biergarten last year led to the opportunity to add another night of fireworks this year. Giombarrese explained that since they did Thirsty Thursday out in center field, they couldn’t really do a fireworks show that day. Now that Thirsty Thursday takes place in the Biergarten on the left field side, fireworks can shoot off from center field. Post-game fireworks will start in June.
In addition to the added fireworks, the Biergarten remains as something well embraced by the BlueClaws’ fans.
“People seem to like it,” he said.”There’s plenty of room out there. They have the heaters. They have the lights. A variety of options. You have the stage facing out. They kind of played around and did some things to improve the sound system out there as well.
“They had the TV so we have the game on there and then if you want to watch on the berm over there on the side, you can easily do that. You’re right next to the Biergarten anyway. You can watch on the berm, you can still hear the music and you can watch the game so you know you have a little something for everybody there.”
The picnic areas are another part of the park that got revamped this season. “ … They put in a lot of brand new seating and redesigned the whole picnic areas, two of them, so there’s one on first base side and one on third base side,” said Giombarrese. “All of the seats will now face the field.
“We used to have square tables so you’d have some people facing backwards and some people facing, but now everything faces the field. They have high top seating on some spots, some standard seating. There’s a lot more room for people to walk around and then they upgraded the menus for those as well, too.
“Yeah, that was the big improvement for this year. Last year they did the mini-golf and the boardwalk games.”
The boardwalk games and mini-golf will also remain for this year’s season after last year’s debut. With every season’s new additions, BlueClaws continually strives to be a place that offers something for everyone to enjoy.
“That was the goal,” he responded. “So you have the mini-golf for the younger kids and then the boardwalk games are kind of a little older and pretty much anybody could do that, but it’s really for kids.
“The sweet spot there’s like … kids between 7 and 18. And then the adults obviously in the Biergarten 21 and over. It works out ,you know, as something for everybody. Not only that, you get to use the whole concourse.”
Prior to the addition of the Biergarten, the 360 degrees of the facility wasn’t properly utilized. According to Giombarrese, when Thirsty Thursday was held in center field there was nothing connecting the seats behind home plate and out there.
“But now you have like Major Ballpark Fun Zones,” he added. “And all corners of the stadium, which is really exciting. People have really responded well to it. So it’s been really good.”
And while the Summer Concert Series started out as just a few special nights of music, over the past few years, they have really formalized the night and formed the Summer Concert Series as it is today.
“And you know, you’re kind of at the mercy of our schedule, but we’re able to make it work so I’m looking forward to getting those going in the summer,” shared Giombarrese.