Payson Park Music Festival Celebrates Quarter Century with Battling Bands

Photo: 2014 Battle of the Bands (Belmont Media Center screenshot)

(This article was sent as a Letter to the Editor from Tommasina Olson, the festival’s founder)

Dear editor:

This year Payson Park Music Festival celebrates 25 years of summer concert music. When we first began we were one of 2 Summer Concerts Series in all the Commonwealth, the only other in the Berkshires.

Our first concert this year is Wednesday, June 17, starting at 6:45 p.m., and is compliments of Belmont Savings Bank. Belmont Savings has assembled some great talent for this year’s “Battle of the Bands.”

The Series runs every Wednesday evening beginning approximately 6:45 p.m. although start time in August is a bit earlier in due to failing sunlight. We offer the opportunity to those Belmont children who wish to have their own lemonade to manage our Popsicle stand. And yes, there are presently 11 openings for Popsicle vendors  (See the website for information)

 We also produce four children’s concerts on Fridays at 1030 a.m. In case of rain, the Kiddie Concerts will move inside to the Library. The Kiddie Concerts are the generous gift of former Selectman Ralph Jones and his wife Sherry.

In total, the Series produces between 15 and 16 concerts each Summer.  All of this is done, without any financial burden to the town, through the kindness of Belmont neighbors and friends, local businesses, members of several Town departments.

There are several notable people who I would like to mention for their inspiration and commitment to the Payson Park Music Festival:

  • Linda Oates for beautifying the Park before we knew what we would use it for
  • Selectman Mark Paolillo for being a Board Member.
  • Dr. David Alper one of the original Supporters, an annual Sponsor,  and a committed Cheerleaded
  • Illustrator Alan Witchonke the designer of our fabulous and timeless logo
  • Attorney Stephen Rosales who put together our 501c3 application many years ago
  • Brian Saper who donated the concrete for our stage and the Highway Department for pouring the concrete.
  • Sharon Rich and Nancy Reed who served several years as volunteer fundraisers.
  • Town employees who I knew as Butler PTA parents who have given willingly of their time.
  • June Howell of the Recreation Department
  • Joe Urciolo of the Department of Public Works
  • Jimmy Salmon, recently retired from the Light Department
  • And finally, Emily and Hank Thideman who oversaw the Kiddie Popsicle Stand for many season.

A quarter century is a proud milestone for Payson Park Music Festival. We hope to see you at the Park!

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