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Great Falls Green Rocking

Free concerts at the Village Green build community.

The Great Falls Concerts on the Green kicked off the 18th year of providing entertainment and goodwill to the community with a free concert this weekend featuring the Cravin’ Dogs. The concerts will run throughout the summer and draw thousands of community members together before the season concludes.

“This is the only time, I think, that we all come together and spend time together. This is our quality time,” said resident Shaheen Feldman.

Each Sunday hundreds of people gather on the Green to enjoy the free concerts picnic style. Folding chairs, blankets and coolers create an obstacle course for anyone arriving late who tries to find a good spot close to the wooden gazebo where the musicians set up.

“We get anywhere from 300 to 500 people there each night,” said Great Falls Village Center manager Helene Teel. “As the season moves on, more and more people will come out here.”

“This is a way for businesses to get involved. They can sponsor groups. It promotes goodwill in the community. People really look forward to this and enjoy coming out year after year,” said Teel.

“It’s nice that everyone gets to enjoy one another’s company, spread out a blanket and enjoy picnic fare. There’s a real sense of camaraderie,” said Teel.

“This is a way for families to come together. It’s great to be out socializing with everybody,” said Calvin Follin.

Concert attendees are permitted to bring food and non-alcoholic beverages on to the Green for the performances. It’s also common for residents to take advantage of the local eateries at the Village Center to bring take-out food onto the grounds. The aroma of Cannon’s steamed shrimp can be caught on the air from every corner of the Green. Pizza boxes from Deli Italiano are seen easily, as well.

Some concert attendees prefer to listen to the music from a comfortable spot with table service. On Sunday evenings the outdoor dining at the Old Brogue and Marcello’s increases significantly with people wanting the enjoy the open air music while they eat.

Concerts are held every Sunday from 6-8 p.m., except for July Fourth and will run through Aug. 1. Upcoming concerts include IONA, the Difficult Run Jazz Band, The Oxymorons, Swing Speak and a double concert presentation featuring Cartoon Johnny and Mark & Geoff.