Music in the Park 2012 begins Thursday

PUNXSUTAWNEY — As has been the case for the last several years, Music in the Park again resumes on the heels of the Groundhog Festival, starting Thursday in Barclay Square and running through Thursday, Aug. 23.

Kicking off the free series for 2012 is the band that kicked off the 2011 series, Midlife Crisis. For the rest of the schedule, see the accompanying box.

Music in the Park was first established a number of years ago by John Serian, who always believed that as long as Punxsy had its own natural setting in which to enjoy music, it would be a shame not to use it.

Serian passed away in 2010 at age 82, just weeks before his own series began for its fourth year.

Since that time, however, volunteers Mary Ann Kernich and Ron and Sue Walker have picked up the organization of the event, under the auspices of the Punxsutawney Area Chamber of Commerce and thanks to the Groundhog Festival Committee, which leaves its towering canopy in place for the series.

“We’re pleased to have it moving as smoothly as it has,” Kernich said about the preparations. “Donations are still coming in, so we are certainly covered for this year again.”

The organizers said they aren’t too concerned about the extreme heat that met last week’s Groundhog Festival, although it seems as if those attendees did not let the heat bother them at all.

If anything, Kernich said, those who attend Music in the Park can also move their chairs into the shade, if need be.

Also, Sue Walker said Alexa Shaffer will be running the sales of pizza, pop and water — all at $1 each — for her senior project.

Proceeds from those sales will benefit the Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center.

The 2012 schedule for Music in the Park is as follows:
• July 12 — Midlife Crisis (classic rock).
• July 19 — Ridin’ Shotgun (classic country).
• July 26 — Mikey Dee Band (polka/all-style).
• Aug. 2 — Randy Paul (country singer/songwriter).
• Aug. 9 — G3 (classic rock).
• Aug. 16 — The Sharp Tones (50s/60s music).
• Aug. 23 — The Moore Brothers (country/classic rock/big band).

All performances will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays in Barclay Square.

Visitors should bring their own lawn chairs and/or picnic arrangements, although refreshments will also be available.

In the event of inclement weather, the performances will be held at the Punxsutawney Area Community Center.