In the photo above, the band Southern Chainz performs on the green at Birkdale Village in Huntersville. Each weekend until Labor Day, visitors to Birkdale can enjoy a diverse lineup of musicians, from samba bands like Soul Brazil to eclectic party bands like Hipshack. (Photo: Glenn H. Burkins for Qcitymetro.com)
In the cozy village, sunrays rested on a crowd as families and couples listened to a live band amid the squeals and splashes of children playing beneath a waterfall just a few feet away.
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“I’ve been booked there for a few years,” said Alan Barrington, a musician from Rock Hill. “It’s a great crowd out there, and it’s family friendly. Particularly last night, it was jam-packed.”
Barrington’s folk-rock band performed on a recent Saturday night at “Mingling on the Greens,” a free summer concert series presented every weekend at Birkdale Village in Huntersville.
The concerts are offered every Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The performances are held in the courtyard near the interactive water fountain area, which is directly in the middle of the village, on Lindholm Dr. The concerts will run until Sept. 1 and feature a diverse list of performers and genres, from samba bands like Soul Brazil to eclectic party bands like Hipshack.
The shows are only one of the community’s highlights. The bustling town center, which is lined with boutiques, well-known restaurants, a movie theater and luxury apartments, pulls in hefty crowds, but not just from its own neighborhood of nearly 500 residents; it also attracts locals from surrounding areas.
“We go to the fountain because the kids love it with the light music,” said Yanelis Arias.
Though she doesn’t live in Birkdale, Arias and her four children are frequent patrons, going to their favorite spots, such as Barnes and Noble and the Regal Cinemas, during the week.
“Of course, coming with the children you know you’re going to go to the ice cream shops. They just come with their bathing suits on and get in the fountain.”
Arias said she was initially attracted by Birkdale’s “liveliness.” But its neighborly, easy-living atmosphere keeps her coming.
“There aren’t many sidewalks in other areas of North Carolina, but when I come here there are sidewalks. People are nice and you can socialize — it feels fantastic,” she said.
Connie Kirsch, a Birkdale leasing agent, said the property management company leases more than 300 upscale apartment homes, all within walking distance of the retail locations. Behind the village are privately owned homes, also in walking distance.
“A lot of people from Mooresville, Davidson and other nearby cities come here instead of going to Charlotte for things to do,” she said.
Birkdale Village is a quick 30-minute ride from uptown Charlotte on CATS bus route 77. From the stop on Sam Furr Rd. and Norcross Dr., it’s about a 10-minute walk to the village. For information on the nearest park-and-ride lots in the village, visit: www.ridetransit.org.