Dancing (or Just Listening) in the Streets
By Marylou LaRose | June 9, 2021
The Summer Sun Music Series, sponsored by many area businesses, is the perfect answer to finally emerging from our long quarantine shelters and gathering together again in small groups in a festival atmosphere! Fairfield Art and Convention Center's brand new executive director, Lindsay Bauer, has come up with a terrific idea! The weather was amazing Wednesday night for an outdoor concert. The day had been warm and full of sunshine. The sun was just setting and there was a slight breeze. I had a comfy folding chair, my ever-present water bottle, and my husband sitting beside me. Ahhhh just right.
I will be honest, I had never heard of Burlington, IA native Bo Ramsey. That's okay, my husband and I combined will listen to just about every genre of music. Although I don't care much for his progressive rock instrumental stuff, he hates and can not understand my love of rap. No matter, we tapped our feet and swayed to the music, and did a lot of people watching.
There were a lot of people obviously familiar with this band, who even sang along on a few songs. Mike and Sue Carr, and their friends really enjoyed the show and just being together. Mike even brought along his album cover that Bo Ramsey signed in 1983.
One gentleman, Paul Saphier, was dancing and putting on his very own show just outside the open lobby doors of the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center. Paul teaches ballroom dancing in town but he needed no partner as he thoroughly enjoyed himself and entertained an appreciative audience. A few other couples danced as well along the sides of the stage and edges of the crowd.
There were families with blankets on the lawn of the courthouse, eating snacks they had brought, or watching their children laugh, dance, and play as well. Others had brought lawn chairs, as we did, to set up where ever they liked as close to or as separate from others as you choose.
The FA&CC had its lobby open and bottled water and popcorn were for sale. There was beer available as well, but due to liquor licensing was limited to being served and consumed inside the lobby. However, with the doors open you could hear and even see the performance.
I watched two very different groups of friends reconnect after months spent apart. Erika Richards, Renee Ward, and Jean Greco shared stories and photos off of their phones while making plans to meet up after the concert. Richard Haerr, Bob Blankenship, and Steve Harclerode were perfectly happy to stand way at the back of the crowd by the barricades across Main Street to do their catching up. Nearby Petra's Park was filled with small groups chatting, sharing smiles, and enjoying the weather and the music in the distance.
My favorite part is we will get to do this five more times! Every other Wednesday from June 16 through August 11 at 7 pm, right in the street in front of the convention center, just west of the courthouse.
Again I am unfamiliar with all the other artists and groups to come except one. The Boys! I have known two members of the band, identical twins, Adam and Lee Klett from Sigourney, IA for over 10 years. They perform many original songs they have written themselves along with several covers of modern and traditional country songs with their own twists. If you are inclined to dance in public like Paul Saphier, you will be on your feet for The Boys on July 14th!
Other acts will be Baraka Trio on June 16th, Kevin Burt on June 30th, The Awful Purdies on July 28th, and wrapping up the series on August 11th will be Nicholas Naioti. I hope to see you there! I won't miss a single one!