The Lakeside Summer Concerts at Hillside Park, the inaugural 10-week music series at the facility on Winola Road, comes to a close tonight, Aug. 28, at 6 p.m., after nine prior weeks of fun thanks to support from all aspects of the Abington community.
Since its start on June 26, the series has worked to highlight the talents of local musicians and artists and unite the Abington area through food and fare offered by community groups including the Rotary Club of the Abingtons and the financial support of area businesses.
Tonight’s sponsors and contributing organizations are Field Turf and the Waverly Masons. The Masons will offer burgers, hot dogs, and more, according to members of the Abington Area Joint Recreation Board. Featured photography from Bre Reynolds will also be on display.
This evening’s music comes courtesy of The Fab Three, a “Beatles preservation band” — not to be confused with a tribute band complete with The Beatles’ outfits — featuring Jack Bordo on guitar, Bobby Arvonio on bass, Kevin Conway on drums, and Jamie Van Wert. All four band members contribute their vocal talents.
Van Wert said The Fab Three covers The Beatles’ repertoire from “All My Loving” through “Let It Be,” with some deep album cuts mixed into their set lists. They chose to help preserve the British Invasion’s sound because of their “universal appeal,” Van Wert said.
As proponents of live music that have shared the stage with many of the previous lakeside concert acts, Van Wert said they were thrilled to be invited to participate.
“We have so much respect and admiration for the other performers, so it’s an honor to close out the series,” he said.
Dewey Petty, vice president of the Abington Junior Comets, has worked over the course of four years to secure Hillside Park as a practice facility for the local youth football club. Renovations to the fields weren’t complete until their 2012-13 season was over, but Petty said children involved with the Junior Comets are enjoying their new practice field.
Hillside Park was chosen to help relieve past safety and parking issues the organization faced, Petty said.
“We thought Hillside Park would be a great spot for families. When their older brother plays and they have a 4-year-old, they can go to the park. They can go to the boundless playground. They can go fishing. There’s things the parents can do with their kids instead of running around a parking lot,” Petty said.
Having collaborated with the AAJRB over the past several years, Petty has also seen numerous changes made to the former Abington Area Community Park.
“The progress is amazing if you think about all of the hoops you have to jump through to get anything done. It’s amazing how much time people will put in for something that really gives them nothing but a sense of accomplishment,” he said, noting the often selfless work done by AAJRB board members.
The introduction this summer of the Lakeside Summer Concerts is another key example of the park’s overall growth.
“I think it’s a great way to get people you normally wouldn’t get at a park there. Once they see it and what it has to offer, I think you get a lot more weekly visitors,” Petty said.
His hectic schedule — bouncing between his children’s baseball and football games and practices — hasn’t offered much opportunity to take in the concerts himself. However, Petty and his family did enjoy the one event they were able to attend and, in watching from afar during Wednesday practice sessions with the Junior Comets, he’s seen the crowds grow each week.
The concerts start at 6 p.m. and are offered as a gift to the community, but donations are being accepted to help fund potential future summer concerts. Donations can be sent to AAJRB concert donation, c/o 304 S. State St., Clarks Summit, PA 18411.