Story and Photos by Zarah Kavarana
Chappaqua’s annual Summer Concert Series had residents singing, dancing, and laughing at its first show on July 10, which featured Tramps Like Us, a Bruce Springsteen cover band.
For over 25 years, the Summer Concert Series has contributed to the uniqueness of Chappaqua. Each year, 100s of people gather at the Recreation Field for good food, good music, and good company. So far, this year’s event is more successful than ever with a record number of attendees from both Chappaqua and surrounding Westchester towns. The field was packed with Springsteen-lovers of all ages.
“It’s a great community event to get people to downtown and hanging out in the summertime,” said Solveig McShea, one of the organizers of the Summer Concert Series. “It’s something fun to do outside and it’s just really about getting family and friends out listening to music.”
Inside Chappaqua Magazine rose to the occasion too with a June/Summer cover story—an interview by Robert Greenstein with Chappaqua resident Mark Salore, leader of Tramps Like Us. The magazine’s mailing to 10,000 homes and other local distribution and online efforts helped assure that virtually every household in the area was aware of the incredible lineup this summer.
The event began at 7p.m.., as will all other scheduled shows in the Summer Concert Series. Attendees have the opportunity to walk around, purchase dinner, chat with friends, or just set down a blanket and chairs in the grass and relax.
The pre-show featured young students from Music in Chappaqua, who sang popular hits before the crowd at the field’s gazebo to help build their confidence and performance skills.
Tramps Like Us came on at around 8 p.m. and sang numerous Springsteen favorites, like Dancing in the Dark and Born to Run. The band also brought Christmas in July by performing Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Lead singer and Chappaqua resident Mark Salore, jumped out into the crowd to greet his audience and even singled some out to sing song lyrics.
The event is sponsored by the New Castle Recreation and Parks Department, the Chappaqua-Millwood Chamber of Commerce, Music in Chappaqua, in addition to the following local sponsors:
- Allstate Insurance – Stephen Greenberg
- Desires by Mikolay
- New Castle PBA
- Temple Shaaray Tefila
- The Gym of Armonk
- Cathy’s Hair Room
- Healthy Compounding Pharmacy
- Inside Chappaqua Magazine
- Jodi’s Gym
- New York Organ Donor Network
- WeeZee World of “Yes I Can!”
- World Cup Nursery School and Kindergarten
- Gail Patrick’s Cafe
- Le Jardin du Roi
- King Street Restaurant and bar
- Quaker Hill Tavern
- Sherry B Desert Studio
As the main sponsor of the Summer Concert Series, Janet Angier, the Director of Music in Chappaqua, said that the school’s donation was out of appreciation for the Chappaqua community.
“We want to give back,” she said. “Chappaqua has really been good to us. We’ve been in business for 20 years now, and we’ve seen all kinds of students come through and do really great things, so we just want to say thank you to Chappaqua.”
Many sponsors said that the Summer Concert Series was a brilliant way to get the public to take note of what their businesses have to offer.
Casey Deluca, Intern for Desires by Mikolay said, “We really just wanted to get the word out about what we do. We’re a jewelry store, we do free jewelry cleaning, and we’re a family-owned business.”
“We’re here trying to promote a healthy lifestyle by talking to some parents and some children,” said Matthew Benjamin, Director of Business Development at The Gym of Armonk. “We have a lot of youth programs at the gym. We even host bar mitzvahs and we have camp-oriented programs for kids in our gym and our actual basketball court on the gym. So we thought it would be a great time to meet people here, show them more about the gym, and get them to join.”
Each of the sponsors are given their own stations, where they put out their own offerings.
Some organized a number of fun activities for concertgoers. Jodi’s Gym, WeeZee, and World Cup will keep kids busy with arts and crafts, gymnastics rotations, and a giant spinning top, while Cathy’s Hair Room is offering hair braiding and extensions. Others are putting together goodies for attendees to take home. Music in Chappaqua is setting out glow bracelets and is sponsoring a raffle for one full week of camp. Desires by Mikolay is putting out beach balls and Ring Pop gift bags for the kids. Additionally, the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival is selling “pinkalicious” cupcakes and gluten free s’mores.
Sponsors such as The Gym of Armonk, New York Organ Donor Network, and Temple Shaaray Tefila have own information tables, where people can visit and find out more about each group.
Food vendors will be serving up their delicious creations throughout the series. They include Gail Patrick’s Cafe, Le Jardin du Roi, King Street Restaurant and Bar, Quaker Hill Tavern, and Sherry B Dessert Studio.
The Summer Concert Series will continue on July 17 with the Chappaqua Orchestra, July 24 with One Hot Night, a Neil Diamond cover band, and July 31 with Holla Back, a 1980s tribute band. All concerts are free to members of the public, so come out and join the fun!
In the event of poor weather conditions, the concerts will be held in the Chappaqua Public Library auditorium. For questions regarding the status of the concerts, please call the Recreation and Parks Department events hotline 238-2540.