Summer Concerts at SCP
By Ellen Oliver
The band Illusions kicked off the Recreation Department’s new summer concert series at Stow Community Park on Thursday August 22. After an earlier concert had been postponed due to rain, the weather was beautiful, perfect for sitting outside and enjoying live music.
Although this year only two concerts were scheduled, the Recreation Commission hopes it will be the start of a new tradition for the town. “We’re happy to add this event to the Recreation Department offerings for town residents,” said Recreation Director Laura Greenough. “We hope it grows and we can offer more than just two concerts each summer.”
About 60 plus people enjoyed the music as they sat in folding chairs or ate dinner on blankets spread out on the grass before the pavilion, while others stayed after a soccer practice. Parents were able to enjoy the music and keep an eye on the children playing on the adjacent playground. A few people moved and swayed in the audience, but there was plenty of room for a makeshift dance floor if enough people wanted to dance.
One person anxious to dance was Rene Pelles who uses the park for walks. Pelles enjoyed the music and was especially impressed with the band Illusions. “This is the happiest event,” said Pelles. “I wish they were here everyday.”
Pelles sat near the band on the picnic tables on the side of the pavilion. She and the other audience members enjoyed selections from the past three decades including Jimmy Buffet, Van Morrison, Stevie Wonder and Adele. The band even got the youngest members of the audience involved, handing out shakers, tambourines and cow bells to play along with the music.
Gen Kallos and her daughter Sophie Karlskind came over from the neighborhood at the Villages and met up with several neighbors. “We didn’t know everyone was coming until we saw everybody,” said Kallos. Sophie was front and center, dancing and spinning to the music. “She’s loving it,” said her mom. “I love that it exposes her to live music.”
The music began at 6:00pm, but people didn’t really start to arrive until 6:30pm. The starting and ending times are constrained by the
daylight, Greenough explained, since the park closes at dusk. “If we can start holding the concerts in July, we’d have more time to enjoy the music,” she said. Thursday night’s event wrapped up at 8:00 pm, just as the mosquitoes arrived as the second act.
Summer concerts are popular in other towns and when the SCP was designed, adding a music series was part of the plan. Greenough would like to see the summer concerts occur every week or twice a month. “As we grow we could offer different genres, like country and jazz. We’d like to feature Stow bands and one week do a Battle of the Bands for high school kids,” she said.
While a food truck selling hotdogs and ice cream was parked in the parking lot, Greenough said she’d like to add more options for food. “We wanted to see what kind of turnout we had for the first one before we invited more trucks to come,” she said.
The Recreation Director would also like to use SCP to host other events like “drive-in” movies on a large inflatable screen or karaoke.
If you missed the inaugural concert event, don’t despair, there’s another concert scheduled for August 29 also at SCP. The band is Rusty Nails, who also plays a variety of popular songs. Parking at the SCP is limited, but there is overflow parking available at Bose.