By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY – Staff Writer
The first night of the Friday night concert series and Market Night at Lake Gregory on April 28 was declared a complete success by those attending. The weather was perfect, the band was entertaining and inspired adults and kids up to dance. The marketplace had a variety of 20 vendors selling a wide selection of merchandise, including cottage food items.
These Friday night concerts will continue through Sept. 15, weather permitting. The first four market nights will be held on the North Shore parking lot, with the band playing on the patio bandstand. Beginning Memorial Day weekend, when the beach opens for the lake, the Market Night and concert series will move to Lake Gregory’s South Shore pavilion where there is more parking and more setup space for an additional 10 vendors. The bands will perform on the raised, rolling stage with a lake backdrop. Market Coordinator Sara Green was thrilled with the community response and support.
For the first Friday night concert of 2023, the music began at 5 p.m. and was provided by the popular family-friendly By-Products band, playing classic rock songs and country music from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Even the young children were encouraged to get up and dance on the dance floor in front of the stage.
There were four food trucks, showcasing pizza and other ethnic foods such as tacos in the Market area and, on the patio in its food court, there were hot dogs and brats, plus craft beers and soft drinks, including the Firework Haze IPA was being poured. The Firework Haze IPA is raising funds for the Jamboree Days fireworks fund, and beer mugs for the beer club were being sold so a club member gets 22 ounces of beer for the same price as 16 ounces.
On the patio, old friends who had not seen each other since the blizzard shared survivor stories and warm hugs among good friends. The warm weather and lack of breezes added to the many great comments on the perfect gathering and so much happiness was expressed about being able to join together again. Ginger Gabriel was table hopping, greeting all the friends she saw, and Dirk Rinker was enjoying the artisan pizza from the food truck, while Uncle Mott enjoyed the hot dogs and beer.
In the Market area was a wide selection of fresh veggies and fruits from a local vendor, along with Goodwin’s Market selling breads and delicious muffins, some juices and other taste treats. People were excited to see Goodwin’s offering a selection of food items and seeing their employees with their smiling faces.
There were 20 vendors selling rocks and jewelry, craft items, jams and cottage food items, including popcorn and art creations. At the end of the evening, the vendors expressed satisfaction at the afternoon’s sales.
The concert series and Market Night runs from 4 to 8 p.m. at Lake Gregory every Friday through Sept. 15, with free parking all season along.