In Focus: Gregory Park Hosts Summer Bandstand Series
People of all ages came out to Gregory Park in downtown Brainerd Thursday night for the weekly Bandstand Concert put on by The Center.
“The concerts got started when our Board of Directors started to look at how can we give back to the community, because as a nonprofit, your funds are limited,” said DeAnn Barry, Executive Director at The Center. “But the community is very supportive of us, so we started to look at what we could do. The facility is two blocks east of The Bandstand.”
The Bandstand Concerts got started six years ago as a way to bring people from the community out to hear a variety of music and enjoy the summer evenings.
“Well, sitting out in the fresh air, and they always have good groups singing. It’s just nice to get out on a summer evening and have some entertainment,” Kathleen Teusa, who attended the concert said.
“People enjoy it so much. The attendance is anywhere from 80 to, sometimes we’ve had 250, so we’ve continued to do it ever since then and it’s been phenomenal. As long as we are able to have the funding, we will continue to do it,” Barry added.
This week’s band was Diane Saumer and Friends, who play a little bit of everything from easy listening jazz to country, and of course, lots of swing.
“Well, we have the blessing to be able to play here on a beautiful evening in Gregory Park in Brainerd, Minnesota. We represent The Center. You will see lots of people who are members here tonight and we enjoy playing for them. I’m glad to say they like to hear us. They’re absolutely wonderful. They’re so easy to please and thankful. We’re always thankful, too,” Diane Saumer Guidi, Lead Vocalist of Diane Saumer and Friends.
The weekly concerts feature music of all kinds. From country, rock, folk, to even gospel.
“I think people enjoy the variety. It isn’t the same from week to week,” Barry said.
The concerts have been a huge hit with families and friends who come out together to enjoy the beautiful summer evenings.
“I think the benefit to the community, you know, what a great way to have a free, outdoor event for all ages. Sometimes there’s kids that are dancing in the grass. People bring blankets and lay them in the grass,” Barry explained. “There’s lawn chairs. Or they’re just walking through, riding their bike. They live in this side in the city and they don’t realize there’s an outdoor concert going on.”
The Bandstand Concerts take place every Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. and continue until the last Thursday in August.