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Van-Dells will play amphitheater Sept. 1

The Van-Dells perform musical hits from the 1950s and ’60s. They will perform Sept. 1 in the Roberts Park amphitheater.


As Rich Young presided over the Main Event car show in Roberts Park on Labor Day 2018, he talked about bringing back a musical show group that performed there two decades earlier.

He’s doing it this year. The Van-Dells, a musical group that performs hits from the 1950s and 1960s, are booked for the Rodfathers Car Club’s Main Event show on Saturday, Sept. 1. They will perform in the Roberts Park amphitheater starting at 5 p.m.

Last Labor Day, Young talked of beating the turnout for Labor Day car shows of 20 years earlier, when cars filled Roberts Park. He remembered that he booked the Van-Dells for the 1997 weekend. That wasn’t the group’s first concert here and they helped draw 564 vehicles to a show organized by the Outlaws car club.

“Every time the Van-Dells came down, we filled the amphitheater” with its 2,000 seats, he said then, saying that maybe he should see if the Van-Dells would come back. “They’re really nice fellas.”

For years, the band has entertained audiences across the country with their tribute to the ’50s and ’60s. With impressive lead vocals, tight harmonies, and humor, they have been called “The Three Stooges set to music,” according to their website. The upbeat show includes Doo-Wop favorites to Motown classics, including an Elvis tribute.

The Rodfathers Car Club has actually scheduled two shows, bookending the summer. The first will be a Memorial Day show from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, May 27, in the Fayette County Courthouse parking lot. This show will honor veterans, according to Young. The 2018 show attracted 150 cars.

The Main Event show will be Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, in Roberts Park. Saturday is a cruise-in starting at 4:15 p.m. Sunday’s show starts at 9 a.m. with awards at 3 p.m. Gates will open for the Van-Dells show at 4 p.m. and each car pre-registered for the car show by Aug. 24 will receive two tickets to the concert. Pre-registration costs $15.

Tickets to the concert for the general public will be $10 per person. Advance tickets will be available by June 1 at Whitewater Federal Credit Union and Bruce’s Grandview Barber and Style Center.