Around Town

MusicFest to highlight hometown talent this summer

WESTFIELD – There will be no shortage of live summer entertainment this year with block parties happening downtown as well as the annual Westfield on Weekends’ free  MusicFest.

To really get the summer vibes going, Hitting the Note, an Allman Brothers tribute band, will kick-off MusicFest at Park Square Green June 20.

“During Westfield’s 350th anniversary, we wished to spotlight the incredible talents of regional artists,” Gerry Tomasko, chair of the MusicFest series explained. “Each of our concerts will be headlined by musicians who have developed huge followings in the Pioneer Valley and beyond.”

Making MusicFest happen this year took a little more creativity than in the past. Tomasko said the city’s giant 350th birthday cake, which is located right in front of the stage on the Green, presented the MusicFest Committee with a dilemma.

Because of the cake location, the group asked the Parks and Recreation Department if it could utilize the north end of the Green near the gazebo.

“They gave us the permit, but then we discovered there was no power,” Tomasko said.

He and his committee members met with the city engineer and community development director to come up with a plan.

“The city worked with Elm Electric to bring power to the gazebo for us,” he said. “We had a few challenges, but it’s worth it to celebrate the city and continue the MusicFest, which we have brought to downtown for seven years.”

Next was figuring out a stage.

“We had Jerome’s Party Plus come out and measure and they are putting up a stage and tent,” Tomasko said.

Because of the need for a smaller, temporary stage, Tomasko said WOW decided that the traveling national acts would be too big for the space and turned to local talent for the series, which fits perfectly into the continued spirit of the Westfield 350th celebrations.

“They are all great acts with great followings,” Tomasko said.

The second concert is King Kountry with Ray Guillemette and closing out the concert series is the Westfield Jazz All-Star Band with internationally acclaimed vocalist Samirah Evans.

WOW asks that MusicFest participants stay safe while enjoying the show by crossing only at crosswalks and at the direction of our police officers, no bike or skateboard riding, no smoking, no pets other than service animals, no alcohol can be brought on the Green, beer and wine purchased on the Green cannot leave the Green and please pick up around you.

Tomasko said The Tavern will provide the beer and wine tent and Peppermill Catering and North Elm Butcher Block will offer food. The Church of the Atonement will have its annual Strawberry Festival on the Green that night as well.

“Come early and have dinner on the green, ending with strawberry shortcake,” said Tomasko. “Come hungry, thirsty and bring a chair . . . and pray for no rain.”

MusicFest Westfield 2019 is produced by Westfield on Weekends with the assistance of the City of Westfield and sponsorship of Westfield G & E and Whip City Fiber, Tavern Restaurant, Commercial Distributing and Westfield Electroplating.

All concerts will begin at 6:30 p.m.

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