Andover’s Concerts in The Park series, held on Wednesday evenings in the summer, is as traditional as drippy ice cream on a waffle cone.
The free music series has attracted listeners of all ages over the years, and this summer is no different.
The six-week series gets underway on Wednesday, July 10, and continues through Aug. 14, in The Park at the corner of Chestnut and Bartlet streets.
Jessica Downing, the town’s recreation director, said that the Concerts in the Park series has been a summer favorite for 30-plus years and always draws lots of inquiries to her department.
She said that families and couples love to pack a picnic basket or pick up dinner from a local restaurant, bring along lawn chairs or a blanket, and settle in to enjoy the live music. Dancing is not unheard of, as youngsters and couples often turn The Park’s green grass into a dance floor.
This year’s lineup features several bands with local ties — returning crowd pleaser Rico Barr; Yoke Shire, led by siblings Craig and Brian Herlihy; and at least two other bands with roots in the Andovers.
The Jazz Disciples, an eight-piece band based in Andover, got its start in 2009. The group will play a mix of Dixieland, American songbook, big band/swing and gospel when it headlines The Park on July 24.
The Mystic River Band, led by North Andover’s Ed Antonelli, closes out the series on Aug. 14. Formed in 2001, the band gravitates toward classic rock and pop hits from the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s and 2000s.
This year’s sponsors include Andover Law, Reading Cooperative Bank, Andover TV and Peggy Patenaude.
In addition to the weekly Wednesday night concerts, the town’s Recreation Department is launching a special musical treat for the little ones this summer with two morning concerts.
It’s the first time that free concerts geared for preschoolers ages 1 to 6 will be held in the summer at The Park.
Matt Heaton and the Outside Toys are booked for Wednesday, July 17, and Wayne From Maine will perform Wednesday, Aug. 7. Both shows take place from 10 to 11 a.m.
“We just wanted to do something fun and different for the kids,” said Kourtney Crampton, program assistant at the Recreation Department. “Parents came to us with the idea, so interest is there.”
IF YOU GO
What: Concerts in The Park
When: Wednesdays, July 10 through Aug. 14, 6 to 8 p.m. Rain dates are the next day, except for July 31 (Aug. 22) and Aug. 14 (Aug. 21).
Where: The Park, Chestnut and Bartlet streets, Andover
How much: Free
More information: andoverrec.com/events/concerts_in_the_park_2019 or 978-623-8340
July 10: Yoke Shire
July 17: The Redeemers
July 24: The Jazz Disciples
July 31: Katrina Marie Band
Aug. 7: Rico Barr
Aug. 14: Mystic River Band
July 17: Matt Heaton and the Outside Toys, 10 to 11 a.m. (rain date July 22)
Aug. 7: Wayne from Maine, 10 to 11 a.m. (rain date Aug. 8)