Gorgas Park kicks off Summer Concert Series

The Gorgas Park Summer Concert Series takes off this weekend with the King of Rock and Roll. 

Now in its 12th year, summer will soon be sizzling at the park with outdoor concerts and movie showings throughout June, July, August and September. 

All of the concerts and movies are free. But you may want to bring a few bucks for the hot dogs, pretzels, tomato pie, and water ice offered at each event.

Here’s the lineup for bands:

Sunday, June 12 from 1 to 5 p.m. – Jeff “Elvis” Krick LIVE Plus Motown, Country, and Covers from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.
Thursday, June 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. – Merion Concert Band (Classical tunes and marches).
Thursday, July 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. – Ben Arnold and Band with special guest Jim Boggia (local original songwriters often featured on wxpn, University of Pennsylvania’s radio station).
Thursday, July 28 from 7 to 9 p.m. – “Kick It Out”- The Heart Cover Band with special guest Northridge Music School (private after school program for youth run by the members of Kick It Out).
Thursday, August 11 from 7 to 9 p.m. – Adam Monaco Group with special guest The Tenants (a group of 14 year old kids).
Thursday, August 25 from 7 to 9 p.m. – Zydeco a-Go-Go (local blues band)
Sunday, September 4 from 1 to 4 p.m. – First Class (r&b/soul music group)
Sunday, September 11 from 7 to 9 p.m. – Candle-light Vigil followed by Katya with Peace Dog (rock-n-roll group)
Sunday, October 9 from 11 to 4 p.m. – The Harvest Festival featuring Robbie D. spinning and the r&b group Odyssey.

Here’s the lineup for movies:

Tuesday, August 2 at dusk (after 8 pm) Homeward Bound
Tuesday, August 16 at dusk (after 8 pm) Toy Story 3
Tuesday, August 30 at dusk (after 8 pm) Field of Dreams

Back in 1997 people were actually afraid to enter Gorgas Park, as it had been abandoned by the city and became home to numerous characters who had the run of the place–unmonitored.

In the same year the park was selected for a parks revitalization project by the Philadelphia Department of Recreation and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s “Philly Green” program. Gorgas Park was given grant money and technical assistance so they had the ability to erect a new sign and a canopy in addition to planting new gardens. City Councilman at the time, Mayor Michael Nutter played a key role in this transformation.

John Boyce, President of the Friends of Gorgas Park, explains that The Summer Concert Series has become a staple of life in the neighborhood for more than a decade.

“The park was destitute and abandoned, weed infested, and overgrown with empty drug viles lying about,” Boyce said. “The Summer Series is emblematic of the park’s restoration. It has taken the place of neglect. We’ve filled that void with great programming on this twenty-acre plot of land.”

The Gorgas Park Summer Concert Series is made possible by a hefty donation from East River Bank as well as donations from the Roxborough Ridge Runners classic car club, Philly Green, and other local businesses.

This is an updated version of an earlier story that included the wrong band name for the 9/11 show. 

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