Published on September 21, 2023

NW Neighborhood Alliance's 'Groovin' on the Green' to return for second year

By Freddie Bourne, Messenger-Inquirer

Owensboro’s Northwest Neighborhood Alliance will bring back its free “Groovin’ on the Green” music concert from 4-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 at Moneta Sleet Jr. Park, 616 Walnut St.

The event will include three musical groups and artists — Monte Skelton, the Sheryl Rouse Band and Higher Ground — that play a variety of music genres ranging from blues, jazz, funk and R&B.

Rafe Buckner, chairperson of the Northwest Neighborhood Alliance, said the event came about after the park — formerly known as Max Rhoads Park — was renamed last April in honor of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who grew up near the grounds, following a petition by the alliance and a recommendation by the Owensboro Parks & Recreation Advisory Board.

Buckner, who grew up in the neighborhood, felt the park had the potential to be a place for the community to gather.

“I always (thought of it) like a (hidden) gem, and a lot of people don’t know that park exists,” he said. “It’s got really mature trees, and it’s nestled amongst these houses, and I think it’s really unique because when I close my eyes and look around, you could be anywhere; it looks like the city.

“It’s a very urban park.”

Buckner said the alliance was looking to host programs at the park to bring in additional foot traffic and showcase the scenery the facility offers.

One of the ideas included hosting an outdoor concert.

“We just kind of noticed that … Owensboro has this music scene (and) there’s (live) music almost every weekend,” he said. “Seeing that, we wanted to be part of (the scene).”

“Groovin’ on the Green” made its debut last July following the final day of the Owensboro Dust Bowl basketball tournament.

Though temperatures were nearing 100 degrees Fahrenheit, Buckner felt there was a “decent turnout” but decided to make some adjustments the second time around.

“We kind of looked at it and thought we needed to tweak a few things,” he said, “and (push) it back (to September) and (try) to (have) cooler weather.”

Buckner said the event looks to focus on music that isn’t highlighted or showcased in the city on a regular basis.

“We wanted to try to diversify things and get folks down (to the park),” he said. “We want everybody of all backgrounds to come to this thing, because I think that’s what music does; it kind of brings all folks together.

“We’re excited (for this year).”

The event will also include food trucks and vendors on-site.

Those interested in attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.


“Groovin’ on the Green” is sponsored by Brescia University; Boardwalk Pipelines; Champion Ford; Don Moore Automotive; Foreman Watson Holtrey, LLP; Frank’s Plumbing; Gordon Goetz Johnson Caldwell, PSC; Heritage Park Preschool & Nursery; Kizer Construction; McFarland Funeral Home; Owensboro Health; Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline; and UniFirst.

More Information

For more information, visit the event page by searching “NW Alliance Presents: Groovin’ on the Green” on Facebook.

About Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health is a nonprofit health system with a mission to heal the sick and to improve the health of the communities it serves in Kentucky and Indiana. The system includes Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, nationally recognized for design, architecture and engineering; Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital; Owensboro Health Twin Lakes Medical Center; the Owensboro Health Medical Group comprised of over 350 providers at more than 30 locations; three outpatient Healthplex facilities, a certified medical fitness facility, the Healthpark; a weight management program, and the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center.

On average each year, we have more than 19,000 inpatient admissions, deliver 2,000 babies and provide the region’s only Level III NICU. Owensboro Health physicians perform nearly 33,000 surgical procedures, including nearly 150 open-heart surgeries. Our physicians and staff have 90,000 Emergency Department visits and more than 1.25 million outpatient visits annually. Visit our home page for more information.