They pay tribute to the old, but the bands playing this summer at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs are mostly new.
The bands are part of the sixth Party on the Patio summer series at Mohegan.
“It’s a completely new lineup this year with some favorites from prior years coming back,” said casino Vice President of Marketing Robyn Ryan.
The series starts Memorial Day weekend on Sunday with Bad Hair Day and concludes Labor Day weekend.
“Runaway, which is the Bon Jovi tribute band, is always very, very popular,” Ryan said. “They will actually be here twice this year, May 30 and Aug. 1. “Parrot Beach, a Jimmy Buffett tribute, they’re also very popular.”
Ryan said Party on the Patio was part of the plans for the reconstructed racing grandstand when Mohegan Sun purchased the property in October 2004.
“It started small with acoustic bands, and the party was confined to the patio area of the grandstand,” she wrote, recounting the history of the event. “Thursday was selected for the party because it fit in with an off-night in the racing schedule. In the second year, we added tribute bands to the mix, which turned out to be very popular.”
Eventually, the event outgrew the patio, so the casino regraded and refinished the track apron last year to make more room.
“In 2012, we also purchased a concert-grade stage complete with a roof and lighting to enhance our guests’ entertainment experience,” Ryan wrote. “This year, new concession stands were built under the grandstand to better serve both racing and Party on the Patio guests. The concession stands were built with support from the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association.”
Ryan said casino officials are still working out plans for the new entertainment center that will be part of the hotel that is under construction. That will be able seat 1,500 people for concerts.
“It will be ready this fall in conjunction with the opening of the hotel,” she said.
But that shouldn’t affect the future of the patio concerts, which can accommodate as many as 5,000 people.
“The Party on the Patio is an extremely popular event for us,” Ryan said. “It’s definitely something that will continue.”
The doors will open at 6 p.m. Sunday, and Bad Hair Day will take the stage at 7. Then, after dark, fireworks will burst in the sky above Mohegan Sun.
Shows throughout the summer will fall on Thursday nights, beginning at 7:30.