SOMERVILLE, NJ - The popular outdoor Summer Stage concert series will resume July 11, another hopeful sign that life is beginning to return to normal as New Jersey slowly emerges from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kicking off the 2020 Saturday night concerts - delayed by seven weeks - is Freehold-based Mail Order Bride, a four-piece cover band heavy on guitars and rock classics from the past 40 years.
The three-hour set begins at 6 p.m. with a few breaks before ending at 9 p.m
COVID-19 safety protocols will be in effect - social distancing and face masks will be required, according to Shawn Daley, co-owner of the arts and antiques store, Gallery on Main.
He and partner Michelle Pankowski Kassick book the live acts for the sponsor, the Downtown Somerville Alliance.
"This is definitely a sign that things are moving in the right direction," Daley said. "We know people are looking to get out and enjoy themselves and this is a way to do that.
"Bring your dancing shoes."
Restaurants and retail stores in downtown Somerville re-opened on Monday as Gov. Phil Murphy begins to ease restrictions put in place in March to inhibit the spread of COVID-19. The number of cases continues to decrease.
There will be seating and a dance area in front of the stage on Division Street.
Because the summer Stage Concert Series was delayed by the pandemic, it will be extended beyond the end of summer through October, according to Daley. The names of those bands whose dates were canceled will be dropped in a hat and four will be selected to fill out the dates in October, according to Daley.
The remainder of the schedule is still being finalized as some bands that were booked may no longer be available on their scheduled date, he added.
Mail Order Bride members include Brian Swenor, guitars and vocails' Chris Stegan, guitar and vocails; Darren, Furman, bass and Alan Lambert, drums and vocals. Their set list ranges from AC/DC to Blink 182 and Bruno Mars to Florida Georgia Line and others.
For updates and a full schedule check the Downtown Somerville Alliance website - downtownsomerville.com or Facebook page.