‘5 Mile Train’ to perform for free on Saturday

Zoë Donovan, Staff Reporter

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Those interested in rocking out to live, local music this weekend can attend 5 Mile Train’s free performance on Saturday at the Charleston Elks Lodge.

The performance, which is free and open to the public (including nonmembers of the Charleston Elks Lodge), will start at 8 p.m. and go until midnight.

Community members who plan to bring children should note that the event will remain family friendly until 9 p.m.

The live performance will feature a bar; soda, water and snacks will also be available for purchase.

Todd Keating, 5 Mile Train bassist, said the band will play three sets, roughly 50 minutes each with short breaks in between.

The group 5 Mile Train is a cover band based out of Coles County that began in September of 2016; it plays a wide variety of music, including Motown, country, classic rock and pop, Keating said.

“It has been a priority of ours to have a wide range of decades and musical genres when it comes to song selection,” Keating said.

The band is made up of Greg Epperson on drums, Keating on bass, Tony Reeley on keyboard and guitar, Jerry Thomason on guitar and Bonnadelle Willoughby providing the lead vocals.

John Hargis, club manager for the Charleston Elk’s Lodge, said the band has been doing performances at the Elks Lodge about a year now.

He originally approached 5 Mile Train about playing at the Elk’s Lodge after they performed at the 2018 Red, White and Blue days, Hargis said.

The Lodge is usually a membership and guest’s only space, but this performance acts as a membership drive, and opening it up to the community allows people to preview the Lodge, Hargis said.

The Elks Lodge also works to help the community, as well as raise money for various charities to help veterans and children, Hargis said.

The 5 Mile Train band plays every month on the fourth Saturday at the Charleston Elks Lodge and every second Friday at the Charleston VFW; the band will not perform at the VFW in July.

Information on upcoming 5 Mile Train performances is available on its Facebook Page.

The Charleston Elks Lodge is located at 720 Sixth St.

Zoë Donovan can be reached at 581–2812 or at [email protected].