Summer Jams: Food, Fun & Fireworks for the Whole Family
Author: Teresa Fitzgibbons
How would you like to celebrate the Fourth of July all summer long? Thanks to Shelter Cove’s Tuesday night fireworks, you can. And thanks to the Island Recreation Association, you can avoid the crowds and parking hassles at Shelter Cove Harbour yet still enjoy the fireworks and a whole lot more at Shelter Cove Community Park.
“We started this primarily for the locals,” said Joe Cain, Director of Special Events, Island Recreation Association. “It’s a different place to see the fireworks. We see a lot of the same faces coming back each week, and now even the tourists are starting to find us.”
He’s referring to the Summer Jams Concert Series, sponsored by the Island Recreation Association, along with Sticky Fingers, Budweiser, and Adventure Radio. Every Tuesday night, beginning June 5, the whole community is invited to Shelter Cove Community Park from 7-10 p.m. to enjoy what can only be described as a “family-friendly dance party.”
Music Madness, an enthusiastic trio, begins spinning the tunes at 7 p.m., getting everyone in the park hyped for the fireworks by leading the crowd in favorite dances such as the Macarena, Hokey Pokey, and Chicken Dance. The members of Music Madness get the whole crowd involved with hula-hoop, limbo, and other games and dance contests complete with prizes for the winners. “I enjoy the crowd interaction,” said Mike Palmer of Music Madness. “It’s good to see people happy and having fun.”
“I was shocked at first to see how many people I saw dancing at the stage,” said Cain. “They can really get the crowd going.”
Music Madness provides a variety of family-friendly dance tunes, both before and after the fireworks. It’s hard to say whether the fireworks or the music and dancing is the highlight of the evening. Of course, for younger children, the evening’s highlight is the appearance of famed superheroes Spiderman and Superman.
“It’s kid-friendly but it’s still for the whole family,” said Palmer. “It really is something the whole family can enjoy together.”
The open fields of the park proved the perfect place for kids to kick around a soccer ball and burn off a little energy. Everyone is invited to bring lawn chairs and coolers, or indulge in some Sticky Fingers barbeque, hot dogs, Giuseppe’s pizza, Kilwin’s ice cream, soda or Budweiser, all sold at the park. Admission is free. Any proceeds raised from the sale of concessions benefit the Island Recreation Association’s scholarship fund, which guarantees that no child is denied recreational opportunities because of cost.
“This is not really a money maker for us,” explained Cain. “This is more of a community service that we enjoy doing.”
This is the sixth year the Island Recreation Association has sponsored the Summer Jams Concert Series at Shelter Cove Community Park. The roots of Summer Jams lie in the concert series the Island Recreation Association began at Crossings Park in the mid-’90s, featuring different bands each week. After a hiatus of several years, the Island Recreation Association started the concert series again when Shelter Cove Community Park opened. Though they originally scheduled several bands to perform, Music Madness proved to be so popular that they now perform each week.
“We expect this to keep growing,” said Cain. “I think this year will be bigger and better than ever. We’d love to see everyone come down to the park on Tuesday nights to enjoy the fireworks with us.”