OCAS News

EDITORIAL: Concerts put city in spotlight

Record Journal August 25, 2021 09:01PM

Two concert series hosted by the city at Hubbard Park and the Meriden Green this summer have helped bring people back together. 

Tonight’s free concert at the park’s band shell with Gary Burr is a little bit extra special as the esteemed country singer is a homegrown talent.  

“I can’t wait to come home to Meriden and play in the park where I spent my summers swimming and my winters ice skating,” Burr said in a Record-Journal story.

It’s refreshing to hear a successful native speak so well of his hometown and acknowledge the power of dreams – the subtext being dreams can come true, that aspiration is a cornerstone of success. Burr was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and has won numerous awards over the years, including Country Songwriter of the Year.

His dreams led him to share the stage with big stars like Carole King and Ringo Starr. His songs have been record by Tanya Tucker, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Randy Travis, Patty Loveless, Michael Bolton, Kelly Clarkson and many more country greats.

A city can have dreams too, just like country music singers, and local leaders talked about what the two music series have added to summer nights in Meriden. 

“The summer music concert series show how important it is to come together as a community,” said Mayor Kevin Scarpati. “The series were great for people prior to Covid-19 and even more important for people after Covid-19 to rebuild that sense of community. They are great community events that help us utilize the Meriden Green and Hubbard Park.”

The Burr event was the second concert of the The Olde Church Summer Spin-Off Series that expanded its indoor acoustic concerts into the park for the summer. The summer series is a collaboration with Meriden Parks and Recreation, MEDCO, and First Church of Meriden. 

Organizers selected Thursday evenings for the Hubbard Park events so as not to interfere with the Twilight Concert Series on Friday and Saturday on the Meriden Green. The Twilight Concert Series is backed by Restore With The Arts Inc.  

These two concert series have helped bring people downtown and into Hubbard Park to enjoy live music and this can bring life to the city beyond a night’s entertainment.  Bringing Burr, an example of dreams fulfilled, into the mix was an excellent addition to the plan.