PARSIPPANY, NJ - On August 15th, the final show of the annual Parsippany Summer Concert Series was held at Veterans Memorial Park. Despite the heat, hundreds of Parsippany-Troy Hills residents came out to enjoy the sun and the great music. And with only one month of summer left, everyone wanted to make it count.
“The concert series is about family, community and fun,” said Sam Yodice, director of the Parsippany Police Athletic League (PAL), a non-profit organization that provide local kids with sport programs and activities. “And the PAL believes in the same thing. We’re just happy to be part of this opportunity, especially since it’s the finale. And it sets us up for fun in the fall.”
The final show of the concert series was part of a fundraiser for the Parsippany PAL, in which a generous amount was raised by the evening of the night.
The concert series, which started back in mid-July, featured a variety of music performance. Every Thursday, Parsippany music fan got to enjoy genres of country, soul, R&B, disco, oldies and even Indian music. But on August 15th, concert goers got to see not one but two music acts.
The first performers were the students of the School of Rock Wayne (SRW), an organization that teaches kids music and singing. At Veterans Memorial Park, a dozen SRW students assembled for the concert. It was their first time performing in Parsippany-Troy Hills.
“We hope to make this an annual event for us,” said Rebecca Levin, a Parsippany resident and SRW music director for two years. “We’re very excited to be here and to support the PAL. We want to show that people of all ages can play and perform.”
And indeed, the SRW students proved that they could as they covered some of the best rock songs that made Parsippany concert goers feel like summer was still just beginning.
“I’m pretty excited and honored to be here,” said 15-year-old Sam Dentinger, from Wayne, who sang on stage with her fellow SRW classmates. “The mayor of Parsippany asked us to come her! This concert has a really nice cause to perform for PAL.”
The concert series is organized by the Parsippany-Troy Hills Recreation Department, as it has been for over 20 years.
“From the kids running around to the seniors in the shade enjoying the music, you can’t beat this,” said Joe Plescia, township resident and superintendent of Parsippany recreation. “The year’s concert series was a little rainy and we often had to have the shows at the Liquid Church, but every concert was well-attended. These shows bring the community together. It’s a melting pot here in Parsippany.”
The School of Rock Wayne was later followed by Street Hassle, a local band known as a “powerful horn band” for playing all over the metropolitan area. Within their arsenal of music, they provided the Parsippany populace with countless cover of classic rock, blues, Motown and pop.
And aside from the music, concert goers got to enjoy barbecue-style food, provided by ShopRite/Sunrise Kitchen. The catering company served hamburgers, sausages, pulled pork and hot dogs, with proceeds also going to the PAL.
And for the whole evening, the music never stopped, the food was always delicious, and the playgrounds and soccer fields of Veterans Memorial Park were always covered with kids.
“We enjoy all the concerts,” said township resident Joe Marion. “It’s all good music and an opportunity to see your neighbors.”
Marion and his wife Marilyn have been attending the concert series for about 20 years, never wanting to miss a chance to be outdoors in the summertime. “I love it all,” said Marilyn. “The shows also give young kids a chance to perform in front of a large crowd and get experience. We only wish there was more shows!”
Sponsors of the finale of the Parsippany Summer Concert Series included ShopRite/Sunrise Kitchen, Provident Bank and 2020 Census.