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Town of Hempstead summer concerts are back

Town’s free concerts are back this summer

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This year, Town of Hempstead residents will have the chance to end a summer day by packing up their coolers, ordering some takeout and heading to their local parks with their family members and friends for a free concert.

The Town of Hempstead Neighborhood Concert Series will kick off on June 26, with a performance by the Commodores, followed by a firework shows, in Point Lookout. The music will keep on going on weekday nights at 7:30 p.m. (see schedule) until Sept. 4, when Billy Joel tribute band Big Shot wraps up the season.

“We are expecting great attendance with the concerts this year,” Town Supervisor Don Clavin said. “People are ready to get out, and they want to be outside. I think people are going to stay close to home, but they want to be out.”

And having people out and about is also a plus for local businesses, which will be happy to supply takeout for hungry concertgoers, added Donna Jebaily, a member of the Seaford Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

“As we’re getting more and more into people getting vaccinated,” Jebaily said, “people should have the opportunity, if they feel safe and healthy, to be able to get out and enjoy a good concert.”

Seamans Neck Park, in Seaford, will host the Grateful Dead tribute band Half Step on July 21, and the Bon Jovi and Journey tribute band Bon Journey on Aug. 13.

Wantagh residents can join their neighbors for the Linda Ronstadt tribute band Blue Bayou at Forest City Park on July 13, then catch the 70s Rock Parade in Echo Park on July 15.

Last year, the Town of Hempstead hosted 28 bands with drive-in concerts in Point Lookout. But this year, residents will be able to visit their neighborhood parks and enjoy the music, see their neighbors and maybe bust a move.

“The [drive-in concerts] were successful, people were excited, but I’ll tell you, people want that local concert,” Clavin said. “They want to walk down to that local park in Franklin Square, in Uniondale or East Meadow, and watch a band.”

Among the performers will be 45 RPM, known for its “C’mon Get Happy” show, featuring hits from the 1970s. The band will play at Merrick Road Park on July 9, in memory of its late bandmate, Danny Calvagna, of Deer Park, who died on Feb. 3 after a long battle with Covid-19.

Danny’s wife, Karen Norris Calvagna, said she had appreciated the support of 45 RPM fans, and was looking forward to having the band play for Long Islanders this summer and honor Danny’s life.

“The fans, they understand how Danny’s passing has affected everyone,” Karen said. “Aside from just reaching out to me with condolences, they appropriately reached out to all the band members, who have been family. Having that understanding with everyone has been so kind and so wonderful in this tragic time.”

The band is currently in the process of raising money for a scholarship in Danny’s name for graduating seniors from Carle Place High School whose love of music will always be an integral part of their lives.