Pairing Food with the Mood: Music in the Park Series Kicks off Thursday
By Julie Perine on June 16, 2015
Bridgeport Arts Council’s Music in the Park series kicks off this Thursday at Bridgeport City Park.
“Bring your lawn chairs, blankets - and your appetites,” said Mary Kay Greer of Bridgeport Arts Council.
This Thursday’s featured musicians are Greg Harrison and John Bonnett. The local artists - who sing and play classic southern rock - both popular and oldies tunes - always draw an enthusiastic crowd, Greer said. Also on site Thursday evening will be a food vendor or two. Confirmed is Pat O’Mara who will bring along some specialties of his restaurant Brickside Bar & Grille. O’Mara will also have shaved ice and cotton candy available for purchase. To further entertain children, the Arts Council has also arranged for some inflatable attractions to be part of the music celebration.
“That might help parents relax a little bit more if their kids or grandkids have something to do,” Greer said. “And it will be right there in the park where they can see them.”
As the series progresses, O’Mara will likely plan his menu around the featured musicians.
“When the Davisson Brothers perform - during Fourth of July week - he’ll probably do hot-dogs and hamburgers and when Salsamba comes, he’ll do a little bit of Latin food,” Greer said. “We’re trying to pair the food with the mood.”
As of now, the series runs through Thursday, Aug. 13 but it is possible that an Aug. 20 show will be added, Greer said. In choosing featured musicians, Bridgeport Arts Council took into consideration public demand and musical excellence in presenting some of the most accomplished, talented musicians from throughout North Central West Virginia, said Tom Randolph, board member.
Following this Thursday’s 7 p.m. show with Greg Harrison and John Bonnett, the schedule is as follows:
June 25: The Masons
July 2: The Davisson Brothers Band
July 16: Dennis McClung Blues Band
July 23: Salsamba (Jazz Night)
July 30: South Mountain Soul
Aug. 6: Wyatt Turner
Aug. 13: The Grey Agents
All shows will start at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 9 has been left open as that is Benedum Festival week and the Benedum Fellows Banquet will be held that night at Bridgeport Conference Center. Perhaps the most anticipated event is the July 2 show featuring The Davisson Brothers Band. Currently in the midst of a nationwide tour, the Davissons have a pretty trying schedule. Greer said their efforts to return home to entertain the local folks are to be commended.
“We really ought to applaud them and their talent” she said. “They have worked so hard and based on the schedule I’ve seen, I don’t know how they have time to sleep.”
The Dennis McClung Blues Band is also expected to bring in a nice crowd, Greer said. Though perhaps not as well known, Wyatt Turner - who recently cut an album in Nashville - is a quality country act, she added. Presently scheduled for the series’ finale is The Grey Agents. The relatively new rock group is comprised of Bob Workman, John Farmer, Brian Cottrill and John Forrester, who within the past several months have created a nice following.
The entire series promises to be a treat to locals, who are invited to attend absolutely free of charge.
“It’s just fun,” Greer said. “Everyone always complains that there’s nothing to do and this gives them something to do… It’s an opportunity for families, young adults and kids to be in a clean environment where there’s no judgement and everybody there just wants to be a community.”
Editor's Note: Pictured on the cover is Donnie Davisson of the Davisson Brothers Band. Pictured above is Greg Harrison.