Looking for something to do with the family on Monday nights this summer? Dances in the Park at the amphitheater in Greenport is a great way to relax with the family.
More than 10 years ago, the village’s Arts and Culture committee had the idea of bringing the community together and offer dancing in the park. The event originally started small with about three or four nights of music. This year the event runs for nine weeks.
“The idea was always to have dancing and for a community-based event,” said Poppy Johnson, who has been involved with organizing Dances in the Park for several years.
Mayor David Nyce said the original idea was born out of the village’s Arts and Culture committee. Since that time, Dances in the Park has taken on a life of its own.
Johnson credits Eileen Kapell and Gail Horton for helping to get the project off the ground. Johnson said the project has really taken on a life of its own over the years. In fact, many Greenport businesses extend hours on Monday evenings to attract the dancers and listeners.
While the focus has always been on bands, Johnson said, they have tried to use local disc jockeys.
“It’s harder to get people excited about disc jockeys. It’s great to have real live musicians playing,” she said.
At its last meeting, the village board voted to help pay for the musicians and the audio-visual company used to help with the technical details. While the village is “very supportive” of the program, Johnson said, it only contributes a portion of the funding.
Johnson said in the past the village got grants from the New York Council for the Arts, but that money is no longer available. In addition to funding from the village coffers, the and the Greenport Business Improvement District have stepped up to make significant donations to keep the program alive. During the evening the organizers pass buckets around for donations from attendees as well.
The first band, Santana tribute band Abraxis, will kick things off on Monday, July 4.
July 11: Sly Geralds Band, which features soul, Rhythm and blues, and dance.
July 18: X-cession plays classic rock and roll party music.
July 25: Bastards of Boom plays Brazilian and Salsa.
Aug. 1: No Request Band , which focuses on dance, rock and party.
Aug. 8: Behind Closed Doors plays rock, blues, and soul.
Aug. 15: Winston Irie is a reggae and roots band.
Aug. 23: Second Shift which features local musicians playing hits from the 60s, 70s, and today.
Aug. 29: The Lone Sharks plays rhythm and twang.