The Sid Partington Memorial Concert Series opens Thursday in Victor, featuring music, food trucks and more
That gathering up the road in Rochester may have the name, but there's many an area community that knows how to "party in the park."
Take Victor, for instance, where the free Sid Partington Memorial Concert Series kicks off its 2018 season Thursday evening, with the country, rock and Irish music of Everheart. That series — named in honor of a pivotal local figure who started Victor's community band and chorus and was instrumental in getting the series going — has been growing steadily, says Mike Stockman, Victor's assistant director of parks and recreation. The move from the relatively tiny Mead Square Park in the village, where it drew some 100-200 folks, to the newer and much larger Victor Municipal Park at 6680 Paparone Drive helped.
"It ranges from 400 to 700 — the crowds are growing every year," Stockman said. The weather, of course, is the big X-factor, though the Victor Senior High auditorium serves as the rain location.
Indeed, the concert nights are an all-purpose, all-ages community get-together, complete with food from a rotation of food trucks (this Thursday it's Meat the Press), beer and wine from VB Brewery to wash it down — and ice cream from Dar's Delights for a pleasant aftertaste. "It's been really taking off as an all-encompassing event," Stockman said. "Before it was just music; now it's really a community gathering."
Each concert runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the park — you'll want to bring your blankets and/or lawn chairs.
After this Thursday's pairing of music by Everheart and the carnivorous offerings of the Meat the Press truck, here's what's up for the rest of the season:
June 21: Victor Community Chorus, with Roc City Sammich truck
June 28: Flint Creek (country), with Marty's Meats and Smoothies Plus
July 12: Spectra ("blue-eyed soul," says Stockman), with The Meatball Truck
July 19: Teagan and the Tweeds (R&B/rock), with Chef's Catering and Smoothies Plus
July 26: Red Hot & Blue Band (blues/rock), with Tom Wahl's
Aug. 2: Red Eye Jack (rock and country), with Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and Smoothies Plus
Planning a concert season comes down to finding a mix of acts that will draw the widest range of people — the 2018 season includes the country of Flint Creek (always a big draw, Stockman says, so he tries to book them every year), the R&B of Teagan and the Tweeds, the soul of Spectra — and the community's very own Victor Community Chorus.
"What we look for is a little to offer for everyone — because it really draws everyone," Stockman said. "The range is literally from month-old babies through 95-year-olds. It really brings everybody together."
This week's band, Everheart, is no stranger to park concerts. With a large number of songs to choose from in country, rock, folk and Irish styles — "we know a LOT of songs" — singer and guitarist Trace Wilkins says choosing material to play is about reading the crowd.
"What's a set list?" Wilkins laughed. "We really kind of play it by ear. I'll put together a basic list of songs, and we'll see who's there, what the age range is, and we'll try to play what they might want to hear." For an older crowd, they might tend toward classic country, he noted as way of example.
Everheart — Wilkins, Darren Everhart (vocals, bodhran and perscussion) and Ken Synder (guitar, bass and vocals) have been together since 2004, playing pubs, festivals, private events and community gatherings like the Sid Partington series. They're kind-of-but-not-really named after member Everhart — as Wilkins recounts, in the early days before they had a name, a venue that booked them just put them down under his name. The band ended up liking the sound of it and adding an E.
They do four of five of the park-style settings a year. So what's their favorite part of that scene?
"It's always fun when dancing breaks out," Wilkins said. "Spontaneous dancing!"
Community concerts abound
Here's a sampling of local summer concert series around the region (bring lawn chairs, blankets, etc.):
Bloomfield (in Elton Park, Routes 5 and 20 and South Avenue, 7-9 p.m.): July 10 — Ivan Overmoyer; July 17 — Men Behaving Badly; July 24 — Don Newcomb; July 31 — Rescue 11; Aug. 7 — Jimmy's Old Time; Aug. 14 — Scott Keryer; Aug. 21 — Brian Ayers; Aug. 21 — First Time Anywhere. Sponsored by the Bloomfield Rotary Club with additional support from The Village of Bloomfield, Town of East Bloomfield and Parrish & Brassie.
Clifton Springs (at Rotary Park, East Main Street, 6:30-8 p.m.): Aug. 2 — 78 RPM; Aug. 9 — Music Makers: Aug. 16 — Don Newcomb Band; Aug. 23 — Tim O'Hora.
Honeoye (at town gazebo on Main Street, 7-9 p.m.): July 6 — Paulsen, Baker & Chaapel; July 13 — Simple Gifts; July 20 — Orient Express Band; July 27 — The Dady Brothers; Aug. 3 — Honeoye Community Band and Odd Men out; Aug. 10 — The Bremen Town Musicians (Merry Go Round Theatre); Aug. 17 — The Brothers Blue; Aug. 24 — Mambo Kings; Aug. 31 — Mr. Mustard. Presented by Honeoye Public Library. Rain location: Honeoye Central School auditorium.
Manchester (at Mike Griffin Memorial Park on West Avenue, 7-8:30 p.m.): July 11 —Shackwater; July 18 — Jimmy Jam; July 25 — The City Limits.
Phelps (in Redfield Park, 6:30-8:30 p.m.): July 2 — Loose Change; July 9 — Rebecca Colleen & The Chore Lads; July 16 — Flint Creek; July 23 — Marbletones; July 30 — That 60's Band. The Phelps Community Center will provide refreshments for purchase at the concession stand. Rain location: Phelps Community Center gym.
(If your community has a concert series that's not listed here, give a heads-up at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll list it in an upcoming column.)
The curtain rises
"Million Dollar Quartet" — the story of one momentous session in 1956 when Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins all found themselves in Sam Phillips' Memphis studio Sun Records, the place that launched their careers — returns to Geva Theatre Center, 75 Woodbury Blvd., Rochester, beginning Thursday, June 14 for a run that continues through July 8. This time around, 2005 Naples Central School grad Sam Sherwood plays the part of Perkins, who gave the world "Blue Suede Shoes." See next Thursday's Front-Row Seat for more about Sherwood, Perkins and "Million Dollar Quartet." And for times and ticket info, visit gevatheatre.org.
"Little Shop of Horrors" — the famous sci-fi musical about a man, a woman and a very, very hungry plant — also opens Thursday at Bristol Valley Theater, 151 S. Main St., Naples. Shows are at 8 p.m. June 14-16, 2 p.m. June 17 and 20, 2 and 8 p.m. June 21, 8 p.m. June 22-23, and 2 p.m. June 24. Ticket info is at bvtnaples.org.
An opening reception is this Friday, June 15 at Image City Photography Gallery, 722 University Ave., Rochester, for Carl Crumley's "Diners, Drive-ins and More: Photographs of Americana in Upstate New York." The reception is from 5 to 8:30 p.m., and the exhibit runs through July 8. See this Sunday's Your Life section for more about this exhibit.