, Salem, MA

Local News

August 27, 2009

Delayed Oldies Night rocks Square

DANVERS — Despite the threat of showers, some sprinkles and a nearly two-month rain delay, Oldies Night rocked around Danvers Square last night.

The popular musical town block party and Danvers Family Festival fixture had been postponed due to inclement weather in early July.

Last night, under cloudy skies, police blocked off Maple Street from Elm Street to Cherry Street. Organizers said only a few people trickled in at 6, but by 7 p.m., Maple Street was packed with hundreds who sat at tables, stood around, mingled or danced. Various slush, popcorn and other vendors were set up around the Square, among them the upscale Maple Street Italian eatery, I Pazzi, which offered gourmet Italian sausage subs on homemade panini bread.

Among those spotted in attendance were Selectman Bill Clark, Danvers High School Band Director Ron Parsons and Essex Agricultural and Technical High School Principal Gene Demsey.

When selectmen Chairman Gardner Trask, a festival board member, was not reading raffle ticket numbers, DJ Chris Culkeen spun tunes like Bill Haley and His Comets' "Rock Around the Clock."

Those tunes brought Ethel Fonti, 66, of Beverly to the front of the stage where she danced in a pink hat and black Beatles T-shirt.

"I love to shake," Fonti said.

Dominic Faria, 21âÑ2, of Peabody, Olivia Murphy, 3, of Danvers and her cousin Cian Murphy, 2, of Amesbury, were among the little ones dancing at the front of the stage. Olivia had donned a pink poodle skirt for the occasion.

"I think it's great," said Olivia's dad, Todd Murphy. "You don't know how upset she was when Oldies Night was canceled."

Others also liked it that the festival was held after all.

"It's great seeing people I only see once a year," Carla King of Danvers said.

Family Festival Chairwoman Keelin Dawe walked around the festival with her son, Forrest, 9, and daughter, Katie, 7, holding bunches of raffle tickets in both hands. She was thankful Oldies Night was held after all.

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