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July 3, 2012 > Groovin' in the Grove

Groovin' in the Grove

By Julie Grabowski

Get ready to rock your Sunday afternoons with the return of Newark's Music at the Grove on July 12. The free community event is celebrating its 25th season (surviving a brief hiatus in 2010 due to budget restrictions) under the eucalyptus trees of Shirley Sisk Grove, offering a great experience of live music and community fellowship. David Zehnder, Director of Recreation and Community Services for the City of Newark, describes the series as a lively, family atmosphere with music for everyone... "family entertainment appealing to all musical tastes." Big Bang Beat, The Fundamentals and Kelvin Boyd's Drifters will have you on your feet with dance and party songs from every era, including big band, Motown, disco, and favorites from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today.

Newark's program was launched as a way to bring more arts and entertainment to the community. Music at the Grove, a pioneer of free city concerts, is a self-sustaining program, funded by corporate and local businesses, the Friends of the Grove program, and by "passing the hat" at each show. "Friends of the Grove" was established plays a vital role in keeping the concert series alive. "It provides an opportunity for individuals to help sustain the arts in Newark."

The concerts are a popular summer activity with average attendance exceeding 1,500 people, some shows drawing up to 2,500. "It's a great family outing, and you can't beat the price for quality musical entertainment in a relaxed outdoor setting; a unique Newark thing that appeals to the whole Tri-City area," says Zehnder. Crowd favorite Big Bang Beat is expected to attract 2,000 people.

"The Music at the Grove summer concert series is a wonderful, popular, community-enhancing event that all ages seem to enjoy. It is one of my favorite programs as it affords everyone a chance to kick back on a lazy Sunday afternoon, picnic with friends and family and enjoy a wide range of music from Motown to Modern Rock n Roll," says Zehnder. "Some people come to party and dance while others are content to sit back on their lawn chairs and blankets and soak up the sounds of summer. It's a community-building event that attracts an eclectic and diverse crowd of music lovers."

Parking is easy and plentiful in the adjacent NewPark Mall. Gates open at 11 a.m., so grab your lawn chairs and picnic baskets and get ready to party. For more information on Music at the Grove or how to contribute to the Friends of the Grove program contact David Zehnder at (510) 578-4405 or Peter at (510) 578-4630

Music at the Grove
Sundays, July 8, July 29, August 12
1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
Shirley Sisk Grove
Cedar Blvd. at NewPark Mall, Newark
(510) 578-4405 or (510) 578-4630

Concert schedule:
July 8: Big Bang Beat (Party Music of various genres)
July 29: The Fundamentals (Motown, Funk, R&B, "Rockin' Soul")
August 12: Kelvin Boyd's Drifters (Pop, R&B)

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