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“The Show Must Go On” – Concerts in the Park resume Wednesday

July 30, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Concerts in the Park has been a summer destination for Aurorans for more than 20 years – and, despite some initial doubts due to the pandemic, the show will go on.

The seasonal favourite returns to Town Park next Wednesday, August 5, with the Durham Street Band, but just 100 people will be able to be in the park to enjoy the concert in-person due to Stage 3 restrictions in Ontario’s re-opening plan.

“Stage 3 enables us to have up to 100 people gathered in Town Park” says Shelley Ware, Special Events Coordinator for the Town of Aurora.

With a limited gathering size, pre-registration online is required via the Town’s website at aurora.ca/summerconcerts. Those lucky enough to nab a spot at Town Park will enjoy live music at the bandshell while music-lovers unable to secure a socially-distant rectangle of grass can enjoy the concert live online via the Town’s Facebook page.

“We are programming five concerts out of our annual nine concerts,” says Ms. Ware. “For 22 years, we ran this program from 7 – 9 p.m. However, for this summer, the Concert is going to run from 7 – 8.30 p.m. as we will not be having an intermission. With these five concerts, it has always been our programming plan to try and provide a variety of genres for interest, but also to encourage people to try out different genres as well.”

The Durham Street Band will kick off the series next week with classic rock covers from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The series continues on Wednesday, August 12, with Fiddlestix, a five-member band who infuse classic rock with a Celtic feel.

Johnson’s Creek, a country band, takes over the bandshell on Wednesday, August 19, with classics and original materials.

The concert set for Wednesday, August 26, will have a hometown flair when Soul Benefit brings their mix of Motown, R&B and soul to the bandshell.

The series closes Wednesday, September 2, with another hometown favourite: John Stinson’s Classic Lightfoot Live, a tribute to Gordon Lightfoot.

“Planning has definitely been an absolute challenge,” says Ms. Ware. “We did have a different lineup planned originally and we have pivoted to this lineup, and we’re very proud of it.”

In addition to the lack of intermission this year, regular concert-goers will see other changes to the traditional programming due to the present circumstances. The dancefloor at the foot of the Town Park Bandshell, a perennial favourite, will be cordoned off to maintain social distancing.

“We have tried to line up our music to match the fact we won’t have dancing – but still have the opportunity to appreciate full, live music,” says Ms. Ware.

Food vendors who usually offer a variety of tasty treats to revellers during intermission will no longer be on site for the same reason. Instead, meals will be offered for sale at the nearby Armoury, now home to Niagara College’s Canadian Food & Wine Institute, as they are subject to separate limits on social gatherings.

“We are excited this year that the Armoury is going to be open for a full dinner menu that evening with their patio open,” says Ms. Ware. “I think that is going to add an additional neat feature because not everyone has had the opportunity to experience that unique building. Just imagine having dinner with live music wafting just over your shoulder.

“With our first experience at a pre-registered event like the drive-in movie [this past Friday], it actually filled up within 18 hours, and that is why we’re releasing registration codes [for the concerts] once a week on the Friday before the concert. Codes will be there at 6 a.m. on Friday morning. We really recommend making sure you register but, in addition to that, if you’re not feeling well or circumstances change within the health of the members of your household, we do ask that people cancel their spot as we anticipate lengthy waitlists.”

PLAYGROUNDS REOPENED

They had been cordoned off since March, but as soon as the tape came down on Friday morning, playgrounds were once again a hot destination for local families.

Play amenities across Aurora re-opened July 24 as York Region joined much of the rest of Ontario in Stage 3 of the Province’s plan to get up and running again.

44 outdoor playgrounds in all were busy over the weekend, with municipal staff taking a “responsible and careful approach” in determining when other public amenities can open their doors.

“The Town is taking a cautious, phased-in approach to re-opening services and amenities to the public during Stage 3 of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Tom Mrakas in a statement on July 23. “Town staff are analysing all aspects of reopening and ensuring all procedures and precautions are in place to keep our community safe.

“I would like to remind residents that this pandemic is not over and we all still need to continue to be diligent in wearing a mask when indoors where physical distancing is not possible, practicing proper hand-washing hygiene, not gathering in large groups and doing everything we can to ensure there is a continued decline in positive COVID-19 cases. Together, we will continue to provide support to each other and move forward during this pandemic.”

Playgrounds, caution the Town, are neither supervised nor sanitized. Playground users are still reminded to maintain physical distancing of at least two metres from others, washing or sanitizing their hands before and after each use of the playground, and to avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

Do not visit a park or playground if you are feeling unwell.



         

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