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What you need to know for 08/22/2017

Summer concert series opens in Freedom Park

Summer concert series opens in Freedom Park

Swing dancers, children and adults danced freely on the grass in front of the Freedom Park gazebo We
Summer concert series opens in Freedom Park
Alexis Shields, 3, of Ohio, dances to the music of the New York Players in the first concert series installment at Collins Park in Scotia Wednesday, June 18, 2014.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

Luke Jones dipped his dance partner as Marc Anthony’s “I Need to Know” rang out.

Then he dipped her again.

“We can dance to anything,” said Jones, 18, a member of the Spa City Swingers who lives in Ballston Spa. “I don’t like grass, personally, but the music’s great.”

The duo and other swing dancers, children and adults danced freely on the grass in front of the Freedom Park gazebo Wednesday. Onstage, the New York Players kept hundreds of people entertained to kick off the annual summer concert series.

This year’s lineup features entertainment every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday through Aug. 27, with music starting at 7 p.m.

“Every big band, we’re here,” said Jones’ dance partner, Katie Eads, 19, of Clifton Park. “Even the little bands. We aren’t picky.”

Farther from the action, by the picnic tables overlooking the Mohawk River, Rich Gauvin tried to get his 1-year-old son, Leo, to dance. After eating French fries from Jumpin’ Jack’s Drive-In and playing on the playground across the street, however, Leo wasn’t in a dancing mood.

“It’s just something to do,” said his mother, Amanda. “And it’s free.”

Across the street, Eddie Brush and Cindy Guadagno took in the band’s performance of the Motown hit “I’ll Be There” from a distance. Brush said they come out to the park for concerts about 10 times a year.

“We enjoy it,” said Brush, 53, of Schenectady. “It’s a good night out, and it breaks up the week real good.”

It was early in the night, but the Schenectady couple had already enjoyed ice cream from Jumpin’ Jack’s.

“I grew up in Scotia, so to me, Scotia’s a natural place to be anyway,” Brush said.

The concert series continues Saturday with pop/rock band Gordon Street. On Sunday, the Music Company Orchestra will take the gazebo stage.

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