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Inaugural Music Festival Set for Saturday in LWR


LAKEWOOD RANCH – The first annual Winterfest at Lakewood Ranch takes place this Saturday at the Premier Sports Campus on Post Road. The festival will feature an all-day line-up comprised mostly of name bands from the '70s and '80s. The headline act will actually be actor Gary Sinise's famed cover band, the Lt. Dan Band. The event is scheduled to run from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.

The Lt. Dan Band was born of Sinise's frequent involvement with the USO, eventually accompanying him on USO tours and playing fundraising gigs in and around Chicago. In recent years, Sinise, who's best known for his role opposite Tom Hanks in Forest Gump, has dedicated the majority of his time to the Gary Sinise Foundation, which works to help veterans and first responders in need. Sinise plays bass guitar for the band.

Other scheduled acts include Kansas, The Atlanta Rhythm Section, Jeff Cook & The AGB, Rick Derringer, Billy Dean, as well as Tarpon Springs native Bertie Higgins, who is known for the 1982 soft-rock hit Key Largo.

Organizers hope the event will be just the first in what will become a major annual attraction.

"It is our intention to grow Winterfest into a music event that rivals the biggest festivals in the country. And where better to do that than here in Lakewood Ranch during the winter and spring?," says Rex Jensen, President and CEO of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch in a release. "I can’t think of one."

No food or drink can be brought inside the festival, but there will be plenty of vendors in attendance. There will also be a Kids’ Zone with a bounce house, rock climbing wall, games, face painting and other activities. Click here for more information.


Gary Sinise

public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons


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