BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - On the first night of the Berkeley Heights Free Summer Concert Series, local residents crowded Memorial Park to enjoy the live music played there by Beginnings, a Chicago tribute band.

Attendees filled the field with their own lawn chairs and blankets while jamming out to tunes made famous by the band Chicago.

While adults listened to Beginnings play some of their favorite songs, kids ran around Memorial Park playing games with one another. The Penguin Italian Ice and Good Humor trucks were situated on the field where they sold cold refreshments to residents on a beautiful summer night.

As an annual event, the Berkeley Heights Free Summer Concert Series received much support from the local community. Presented by the Berkeley Heights Department of Recreation and Special Events Committee, the concert series will also be sponsored by a number of organizations throughout the summer.

Last night’s concert was sponsored by the Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Berkeley Aquatic Club, a season sponsor.

In coming weeks, other local businesses and organizations will support the Berkeley Heights Free Summer Concert Series.

Lori Cicali Allstate of Berkeley Heights will begin a three week drawing for a flat screen TV next Wednesday night with the winner being announced at the final concert. The Berkeley Heights YMCA will also be raffling off a free membership.

And in its second year, the summer concert series has paired up with The Alternative Press and the Suburban Chamber of Commerce for a photo contest. Each week, concert attendees can take pictures of themselves and their families and email them to photos@TheAlternativePress.com. Winners of the contest will be announced on August 6th on the Berkeley Heights homepage of The Alternative Press.

Contest winners will receive a variety of prizes for their best photos. Local businesses like Derco Office Solutions, Smith Chiropractic Family Care and Sports Injury Center, Cartridge World of New Providence, and Edible Arrangements of Summit, among others, have generously donated great prizes.

In just its first week, the Berkeley Heights Free Summer Concert Series has proven to be a fun event for local residents. Dr. Patrick Smith, Vice Chairman of the Suburban Chamber of Commerce, said that organizing the summer concert series is so important because “it is what makes [this town] so great.”

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“It’s a family town,” Smith explained, “and it’s great to use this beautiful park to have a family concert series for residents this summer.”

Before the band began to play, Smith informed the crowd of upcoming events in Berkeley Heights.

“Tomorrow night is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel,” he told the crowd, “so come out and have a great time.”

Also this week is the seventh annual Amber Pizzo Memorial 5K and Fitness Walk, honoring the memory of a young teacher who was hit by a drunk driver. The event will take place on Sunday July 15 at Memorial Park.

For residents who weren’t able to hear Beginnings play last night, tune into local channels 34 on Comcast and 47 on Verizon Fios to see the performance. Filming was made possible by GL-TV.

The Berkeley Heights Free Summer Concert Series will present three more bands in the coming weeks. Upcoming shows will be on Wednesday nights at 7:30 PM in Memorial Park and the performance schedule is as follows:

• Wednesday July 18th – Parrot Beach
• Wednesday July 25th – Beatlemania
• Wednesday August 1st – Big Band Evolution