By: Jaina Louise Winston, Writer / Follow South Jersey Community Resources Intern
BRIDGETON, N.J. — The Bridgeton Recreational committee has announced that the annual Sunday Night Summer concerts in the park tradition will continue this summer amid the coronavirus pandemic. The concert series hosted in downtown Bridgeton has brought families from all around town just a little closer together. Though set guidelines must be followed, the committee has planned for an eventful summer with artists such as Norman Taylor & Blue Soul, the Kenny Jeremiah trio, The Bud Cavallo Duo, and many more.
The first act kicking off the summer concert series was the Jazza Funk Band hosted at the amphitheater on July 12. However, the rest of the concert series will be held at the Waterfront. Many Bridgeton residents look forward to the concerts held on Sundays, as it’s a time for the community to experience their favorite local bands each summer.
The Mayor of Bridgeton, Albert B. Kelly, wrote as a guest columnist on NJ.com explaining that he recognizes the summer concert series is a staple for the Bridgeton residents, but also emphasizes that it is important to stay safe.
“The city government recognizes that people want to get out of their homes, enjoy the outdoors, and, perhaps, get some exercise,” he said. “We are asking that people social-distance whenever feasible and wear facemasks as much as possible.”
Despite the current conditions, both the residents of Bridgeton and the performing acts are excited about the series’ return. On July 19, the Waterfront hosted the Bud Cavallo Duo. The band is no stranger to the concert series as they have performed there for roughly eight years.
“They have always been a great crowd. We always have a lot of fun with the people there. We get them out dancing and we have a good time because they’re having a good time,” Bud Cavallo said.
Since the Waterfront ground is already a spacious area, Cavallo isn’t too worried about the COVID- 19 restrictions affecting the band nor the audience’s experiences.
“Every day you walk outside is a risk, but you have to keep going with your life,” he said. “I’m not too worried about the restrictions affecting our playtime. However, I still adhere to the guidelines the best I can.”
Randy of the Randy & Ryan duo shares the same thinking. The duo is set to perform on August 9, and they anticipate a night of good music and a sense of togetherness that the community brings every summer.
“Our music reaches all people, kids, teens, adults…everybody,” Randy said. “So, our goal is to create that feeling of togetherness, because I figure we need it during this time.”
Throughout the summer, the group has performed on the weekends near the shore but is looking forward to playing at the Waterfront. Even after playing together for thirty years, Randy said there has never been a better time to bring people together than right now.
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This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.