Season’s first City Park Bandstand concert is July 3

A historical icon in many cities and towns across the nation whose heyday was a time and place for outdoor musical entertainment, usually in a park setting during the summer months in a time before television, even radio and movie houses.

Some are ornate, some less so, many very basic usually in gazebo form. Some are elevated, some at ground level, or often somewhere in between.

It is a lonely place for much of the year, subject to the vagaries of weather and time, often falling into disrepair, even dismantling if no longer a usable entity, yet in many cases it is still there, a colorful beacon on a wintry, snowy day or in our case during an occasional “Nor’easter” roaring up the nearby Atlantic Coast.

But, when the blowing winds of winter diminish, the willow trees begin to green, the robins return for another year, and the smoky grills are fired up, the bandstand begins to revive, city crews or contracted painters arrive to ready the dormant edifice for another summer’s activities, specifically the yearly seasonal concerts presented by the Salisbury Community Band, a group that in one form or another has been occupying the historical green and gold City Park Bandstand since its construction in the middle 1930s, continuing to share their contribution to what Americana is all about.

Residents come dragging their lawn chairs, a blanket or quilt, a passel of kids, maybe a picnic basket, the family dog, grandma and grandpa eventually finding a place on the amphitheater-like hillside under the shade trees, eagerly awaiting the opening strains of our National Anthem.  As the evening’s musical notes waft through the park, along with the occasional flight of Canadian geese on the Wicomico Prong which flows through the park, frequent ambulance sirens on their way to Peninsula Regional Medical Center, an ice cream truck playing a competing melody on South Park Drive, and especially the laughter and delight of the kids as they explore the playground equipment, the flags and bunting gently wave and the band plays on.

The audience rose for the “Star Spangled Banner” and as the concert continues the feet start tapping to “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” the tears as well as joy reign as the band salutes members of our Armed Forces, and the heart swells with pride as we celebrate the strains of “America the Beautiful” on this annually celebrated Independence Day Weekend.

Now, how could you not want to experience this All-American phenomenon which begins on Sunday, July 3, at the City Park Bandstand in Salisbury beginning at 7 p.m., under the direction of Howard Snow, a longtime member of the Salisbury Community Band who additionally is the band director at Salisbury Middle School.

The band’s season actually begins the night before in Chincoteague, and of course continues for each Sunday evening through the month of July in Salisbury.

As always, in the event of inclement weather the concert is moved to Christ United Methodist Church on Phillip Morris Drive.

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