City/Navy partnering on children’s concert

Ramon Rios

MILTON — The city and Navy are working together to bring a national children’s entertainment act to downtown Milton.

The city’s Economic Development Office announced they are collaborating with Navy Entertainment and the Morale, Welfare & Recreation department of at NAS Whiting Field to bring an international touring group focused on children's entertainment to downtown Milton at the Feb. 11 City Council meeting.

Stephen Prestesater of the EDO informed the City Council at their meeting on Feb. 11.

“They have performed around the world, including the White House Easter Egg Roll and have appeared live on ’Good Morning America,’” said the EDO’s Stephen Prestesater of the group, whose name cannot be disclosed yet for contractual reasons. “This band has been nominated for two Emmy Awards, winning one. They have been nominated for three Writer’s Guild Awards, winning one for a holiday special.”

Prestesater went on to say they are a household name for children under 10 years of age and have held a syndicated television show for nearly a decade.

The city was approached by Whiting’s MWR office with the possibility of a partnership to bring a national concert to Milton in November 2019.

On Feb. 4, city officials met with Navy Entertainment at NAS Whiting Field. The group was finishing their Japan tour for families stationed overseas. Navy Entertainment confirmed the group was available for a single stateside stop and Whiting was selected.

“The city has been requested to provide the location, marketing, stage and production (light and sound) company capable of managing a national-level entertainment group,” Prestesater Said.

The MWR department at Whiting would cover the entertainers booking cost, lodging, transportation, meals and assistance. The NAS Whiting Field Security Office and Milton Police Department will work together to ensure the safety of concert attendees.

The city’s financial responsibility will be $10,000 or less. According to Prestesater, if the city chooses not to host the event, the event will take place at Whiting Field, but will not be open to the public.

The Milton City Council unanimously voted to support the project. Prestesater said that was the first of three votes needed from the council before it has final approval.

The name of the group will be released to the public when the Navy gives the city permission to do so.

“Expected attendance would be far greater than any event we have had in the past,“ Prestesater said. ”This show will attract patrons from a three-county, two-state area.“