Excelsior Concerts in The Commons – Chris Hawkey

There was a time not that many years ago when I despised country music. My dislike of country music rivaled by dislike of vegetables. I'll never forget the day I shared some very disturbing news with my then husband (#2) I sat him down and let him know I had to tell him something disturbing about my daughter Kelsey, and he wasn't going to like it. For some reason his first guess was drugs. It wasn't drugs. She was hiding from me that she loved and listened to country music!

If you are a parent I'm sure you can understand how devastating this was. I mean come on, country music is a gateway drug to liking bluegrass. It's only a matter of time. Well fast forward one divorce and several years latter. Tony and I went to a concert that was happening in our town when the PGA or some big golf event was here in Minnesota. I'm not big on sports either, which you might pick up on.

Chris Hawkey was the artist performing, a country music artist. He is also a radio personality on KFAN, a Twin Cities radio station. Tony had gotten to know Hawkey through his men's clothing store that he had at the time.

Tony, the. boys, Natalie and Chris Hawkey

As you might guess, I wasn't thrilled about the concert but Tony was, so I went along with it. Hawkey's performance blew me away. His passion and enthusiasm for the music was contagious! That was when I became infected with the country music bug.

The crowd was so excited. I still don't understand fully what happened that night, but I suddenly became a country music fan. It wasn't long after that I apologized to my daughter for giving her grief about country music in high school.

At the time I was going through the scary process of trying to figure out if I had breast cancer or not. I had an abnormal mammogram, and a second abnormal one. My biopsy showed abnormal cells and an area they couldn't tell for sure what it was. I ended up undergoing a lumpectomy to remove that area. It wasn't cancer, but cells that 10 years prior would have been called cancer and I would have been required to undergo a mastectomy. Thanks to breast cancer research, they now know what I had should come out, but it wasn't actual cancer.

Country music was a wonderful distraction for me during that time period. The lyrics were interesting and I fell in love with it.

The Excelsior Concerts in The Commons happen through out the summer in Excelsior, Minnesota where Tony and I live. Opening night was Chris Hawkey and we were there. Hawkey didn't disappoint. We had the kids with as well. We were celebrating Tony's birthday and the kid's last day of school. It was a wonderful night for it.

Food Trucks

Aside from Tony, I have two great romantic loves in my life. My love of FREE things and my love of food trucks! The Excelsior Concerts in The Commons is FREE and they have seven different food trucks! It's like the city got together and asked, "How can we make Natalie really happy during the summer?"

Food trucks are our go-to for food when we are in Hawaii. Especially on the North Shore of Oahu.

We were thrilled when they started popping up around Minneapolis.


These are the seven food trucks you will find at the Excelsior Concerts in The Commons. They open at 5pm and the concerts start at 7pm

  • Arcane Kitchens
  • Urban Sub
  • Med Box Grtill
  • Rullell's Traveling Kitchen
  • Firemans BBQ
  • Brewgrub
  • Kona Ice
  • The Kettle Korn Factory

I'm a huge fan of Arcane Kitchens. They do a poke taco that is awesome. You can also get it in a bowl.

One of the kids ate from Urban Sub and he said it was really good. The bread they use looked amazing. You can also purchase beer and wine to enjoy during the concert.

Chris Denton and her family enjoy The Excelsior Concerts in The Commons

Don't shy away from bring the kids and the dog. Just keep the dog on a leash and an eye on the kids. Many families enjoy the summer concert series.

There are several concerts left for the season. You can see the schedule and learn more by visiting Excelsior Concerts in The Commons. 

Tip: Head to Excelsior as early as you can so you can enjoy the town. The shopping is plentiful and the town is quaint. Also, bring a chair to sit on when at the park enjoying the concert.

Live Aloha,


Ultimately I'm a writer who works out her issues through shamelessly sharing them. My partner Tony and I strive to "Live Aloha", but often miss the mark. I overshare about our travels, life and blended family.

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