A drizzle of doubt gives way to a summer concert in Great Neck Plaza

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Nina Romano and Tim Smith performed before a crowd of over one hundred. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)
Nina Romano and Tim Smith performed before a crowd of over one hundred. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

With steady rain came a drizzle of doubt in the early evening about whether or not the July 3 show in the Great Neck Plaza’s summer concert series could go on.

Mayor Jean Celender, with Trustees Gerry Schneiderman and Pam Marksheid, speak with attendees before the show begins. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)
Mayor Jean Celender, with Trustees Gerry Schneiderman and Pam Marksheid, speak with attendees before the show begins. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Mayor Jean Celender said it had been an open question whether the concert, featuring Great Neck Plaza concert series veterans Nina Et Cetera, was possible due to the rain and the fact they would not have access to the Great Neck Social Center that night.

“This is what’s so hard about summer concert series – that you have to deal with the weather and because it’s the day before the holiday, we would’ve had to call the show even earlier,” Celender said. “And at 1:30 today it didn’t even look like it was gonna rain. You just never know where the thunderstorms are going to pop up.”

But the weather cooperated. Rain gave way to clouds hanging over Firefighters’ Park on Grace Avenue, where attendance peaked at over one hundred people to watch Nina Romano and Tim Smith perform.

Tim Smith, the other half of the folk duo Nina Et Cetera, works the bass guitar. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)
Tim Smith, the other half of the folk duo Nina Et Cetera, works the bass guitar. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

People filled most of the seats lined up in front of the illuminated gazebo, which was surrounded by eight American flags. Others also hung around the edge of the park, walked through it, or rested on benches.

The folk duo’s music was a mix of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, poet Carl Sandburg, and other Americana classics, featuring guitar, soulful singing and a dash of harmonica that echoed down to Bond Street.

“What could be more Americana than Independence Day?” Celender said.

The summer concert series, presented by the Village of Great Neck Plaza in cooperation with the Great Neck Park District, Great Neck Social Center and a number of other sponsors and supporters, holds concerts every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. until Aug. 28.

The sun sets on Firefighters Park on Grace Avenue. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)
The sun sets on Firefighters Park on Grace Avenue. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

The next show will take place on Tuesday, July 10, with David Saul & the Electric Dudes. Following that will be Blue Bayou, a Linda Ronstadt tribute band, on July 17, Wayne Holmes, a Ray Charles impersonator, on July 24, and Ricky Pen on July 31.

Come Aug. 7, Pamela Levy will perform “Opera Under the Stars.” Then, on Aug. 14, the Liverpool Shuffle will bring “Beatles Mania” to Grace Avenue Park. Aug. 21 will feature Phil Costa and The Something Special Big Band, inviting attendees to “swing into summer.” The McLean Avenue Band will round off the summer concert series on Aug. 28.

“We’re three for three,” Celender said.

Usually, in the event of inclement weather, the Great Neck Social Center at 80 Grace Avenue would be used as an indoor concert hall.

Additionally, the first of the village’s four promenades will take place on Sunday, July 15, with a rain date of July 16.

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