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Summer Concert Series returns to Island Park this weekend


July 03, 2020
TILTON – The Alan and Savina Hartwell Memorial Bandstand was silent last week, but on July 5, music will once again reign over Island Park on the Tilton/Northfield town line when the first of the 2020 Free Summer Concert Series kicks off with an "All Summer Long" Beach Boys tribute.

Organizer Allison Hartwell-Stewart said this will be the 28th year of the concerts, which were conceived by her father Alan in honor of mom Savina Hartwell. Savina was a talented New York City songstress who, many years ago, first envisioned music on Island Park when they moved to New Hampshire.

Stewart-Hartwell said that due to the COVID-19 virus, it was a "long road" to her hopes of continuing the concerts this year, but Tilton and Northfield selectmen finally gave her the green light.

"We worked diligently behind the scenes and had special meetings with the towns to submitted safety plans," Hartwell-Stewart said. "After they reviewed them, we finally got the okay to go ahead. This is our 28th year of concerts on the island and we really didn't want to see that chain broken. We're grateful they can still go on."

Allison's dad Alan Hartwell began the summer concert series as a tribute to his late wife Savina in 1982, and when he passed away, Allison and her family stepped up to keep the music alive.

"This year in particular, we're looking forward to the opportunity and privilege of doing what we do so that the community will benefit," she said. "We're doing our best though to keep people safe with mask recommendations and social distancing. That's paramount to the concert series."

Hartwell-Stewart admitted there may be those who don't want to attend a public event in light of the Corona virus, but there are others who will welcome a night out in the fresh air for some free musical entertainment.

The concerts (weather permitting) will take place each Sunday evening from 6-8:30 p.m. Kicking off the series on July 5th will be the Beach Boys tribute, "All Summer Long." On July 12, it will be the Rockin' Daddios taking the stage, followed by Club Soda on July 19 and The '60's Invasion on July 26.

On Aug. 2, Karen Morgan and the Pony Express will be rocking the island. The Motown Soul Band will perform on Aug. 9, the nostalgic group, the BelAirs, will perform on Aug. 16, and on Aug. 23. the East Bay Show Band will bring their classic music sounds to the island.

Capping off the series on Aug. 30 will be a tribute to veterans, courtesy of Annie and the Orphans.

"We've been doing the free concert series for almost three decades and never felt it was more critical to bring the community together once again then it is now," said Stewart-Hartwell.

This year the program will be dedicated to Kris Meinhold, an original and longstanding volunteer for the summer concerts who passed away unexpectedly in January. A special bench will also be placed on the island in his name. A barbecue in honor of Dick Pucci, a long time friend of the Hartwells, will also be held.

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