Summer Concert Series begins in Hyde Park on June 30

By Kitty LeShay - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Thu., Jun. 20, 2013
Dale McGraw distributes beads to the audience in honor of Mardi Gras during a concert last summer. File photo. - Contributed Photo

It is time to get the picnic baskets and lawn chairs ready for the series of outdoor concerts to be held this summer in Hyde Park. The Stafford Arts Commission and Howard Buckland of American Sleeve Bearing will be presenting musicians accomplished in various genres of music every Sunday, from June 30 through Aug 4. The concerts begin at 6 p.m.

Kicking off the season June 30 are the Riverboat Ramblers, who will be playing Dixieland jazz, followed by Acoustic Rick on July 7. “Rick plays a large variety of music and interacts wonderfully with the audience,” said Georgia Michalec, chair of SAC. On July 14, Wintergreen will be entertaining. “They have been with us for over 25 years, sing many familiar songs and draw a huge crowd,” Michalec added.

The Macha Brothers arrive on July 21 with their repertoire of Beatles songs, and coming this year for the first time is Patty Tuite and Blue Steam on July 28. Tuite and her band are known for their unique blend of jazz, blues and pop. “We do a Steely Dan tune with a bossa nova beat. Our music is a little different,” Tuite said.

Grass Routes is the last band to play in the series, on Aug. 4. “They played in Somers last year and were very popular,” Michalec said.

“We are very excited about moving the concerts from Heritage to Hyde Park. It allows us to promote downtown businesses,” Michalec said. Middle Ground Café will stay open until 6 p.m. so people can pick up sandwiches for the park. Other restaurants will be open when the concert is over for dinner or light snacks. The Stafford Historical Society will have the museum on Spring Street open on June 30 and July 28 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Jan Newsome rarely misses a summer concert and plans to attend them this year. “We look forward to the series each year. It is always a pleasant way to enjoy an outdoor evening of free, mellow music in a family-friendly picnic setting. The programs are designed to appeal to a wide range of tastes,” she said.

In the event of rain, the concerts move indoors to the Stafford Community Center on Route 190, with the exception of July 14’s Wintergreen concert, which would appear at the Ben Muzio Town House (Old Town Hall) at 221 East St.

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