PLEASE NOTE: This post is from summer 2012. The nitty gritty details are mostly the same, but the schedule is different. Please click here to see the 2015 schedule/lineup. Thanks!
(And don’t forget to check out the NEW nearby Riverfront Park Playground while you are there!)
Well hello there! I know we don’t usually meet like this on Mondays, but I have a post for you that just cannot wait.
Last week Mandy told you about the super popular summer concert series in Elizabeth Park in Hartford. Well, every Wednesday during the summer I watch the flurry of Facebook activity as my West Hartford and West End friends make plans to meet each other at this weekly concert. And every Wednesday I think to myself: that sounds like fun; I should go. And then every Wednesday, I don’t.
You see, I live “east of the river” and the thought of driving into Hartford in the middle of rush hour practically gives me hives. I know, I know. You think: how can someone who spent all those years living in a city like Atlanta even bat an eyelash at Hartford traffic? But you forget–I am a Rhode Island girl at heart. And when you come from a state where driving 15 minutes usually means crossing the border into another state, well, you get the picture. I guess it’s true what they say: you can take the girl out of Rhode Island, but you can’t take the Rhode Island out of the girl.
Anyway, now you can fully appreciate why I was so excited to discover that we have a wonderful, FREE summer concert series right here in my own backyard.
This concert series runs for four weeks from July into August. It started last Wednesday, so that means you still have three more opportunities to check it out.
The concert is held at Riverfront Park, just behind the beautiful new Riverfront Community Center in Glastonbury, CT. There’s no parking on the premises except for handicapped or otherwise reserved parking, so to get to the concert you basically have two options.
The first option is to take the very well-organized, FREE shuttle bus service provided by the town for this event. For the shuttle, you park your car in a giant lot off Glastonbury Boulevard.
You park your car in this lot and then hop on a school bus for the short ride to the concert venue.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. School bus + baby + all of baby’s stuff is not exactly the most enticing idea on the planet. And yes, in case it’s been a while since you’ve last boarded a school bus, those aisles and seats are pretty narrow. However, I promise you that it doesn’t stop anyone from loading on their gear: strollers, coolers, lawn chairs, blankets. You name it, people are bringing it on this bus. So don’t feel shy AT ALL about bringing whatever you need with you. I would, however, recommend that you leave your giant jogging stroller at home and pick one that will fold up compactly enough to stow in one of the seat rows. It’s a quick, 1-mile ride to the concert, so if you’re a little squished in with all your gear, it’s only for a minute. The shuttle lets you off right in front of the Community Center, and from there you just walk right out into the park.
Now hold on. In case you’re getting any fancy ideas about parking in this lot and then trying to walk to the concert, get that idea out of your head right now. I say this because the route the bus takes (Naubuc Avenue) is not a walking route. It is a busy, narrow street with NO SIDEWALKS. So please, do me a favor and don’t try it. Promise?
However, if you do want to avoid the shuttle bus, there is an option for walkers. Although the town posts “no parking” signs along most of the streets near the park when there are special events like this, there is still some parking available up on Main Street. It starts in front of the Welles-Turner Memorial Library and extends down Main Street away from Welles Street.
The walk from the Main Street parking area is about half a mile (you can follow Welles Street all the way there). There is a sidewalk the whole way. Lots of people do walk; the trick is to get there early enough to snag a parking space.
We were traveling light this evening anyway, so we just hopped on the shuttle with a diaper bag, a couple of those folding chairs that come in their own carrying bags, and Boo. I’m not sure exactly what the schedule is for the buses, but they seem to arrive and depart every 5-10 minutes. It’s really convenient.
And here we are at the park!
There is tons and tons and tons of wide open space, so you will have no problem finding a spot to set up camp. We chose to head for the back of the crowd so that Boo would have some room to run around.
Plenty of people bring in their own food (and their own adult beverages), but there are also several options for purchasing treats, snacks, and grilled items.
That khaki-colored tent on the bottom right in the above photo is the local Naubuc Fire Department, which is always ready to lend a grill for Glastonbury events. They cook up burgers ($3.00), cheeseburgers ($3.50) and hot dogs ($2.00), which are basically your only options for a main course. There’s also TCBY for froyo, as well as a stand with ice cream truck treats. And then there’s a place to load up on kettle corn, lemonade, cotton candy–all the essential fair fare 🙂
We got ourselves a couple of hot dogs and some frozen yogurt for Boo, hung out, listened to upbeat renditions from the Beatles cover band, and enjoyed the beautiful evening. Boo had a great time too, although he kept stealing my chair…
I should note that the Community Center itself is not open, so your only option for restrooms are these porta-potties way over here (to the far left of the stage if you are facing it).
The concert starts at 7:00 p.m., so it was already past Boo’s bedtime when we got there. He seemed to rally though. Maybe it had something to do with the sugar in the froyo. Anyway, when the band took a break around 8:00, we decided not to press our luck. We packed up our stuff and headed for the shuttle bus. We had to wait maybe a minute before a bus pulled up to take us back to the parking lot. Seriously, this could not have been easier.
I’m only sad that the concert series is just four short weeks. Although, I hear that Rocky Hill has a great concert series on Thursday evenings in their Elm Ridge Park. Maybe we’ll check that one out next.
Where else can we find a great summer concert series?
The Glastonbury Riverfront Music Festival
Riverfront Park, Glastonbury, Connecticut (Behind the Riverfront Community Center at 300 Welles Street)
Get directions here (to shuttle bus parking lot):
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
All concerts start at 7:00 PM and end at 9:00 PM
Tips & Things to Bring:
- The concert is FREE; no tickets are necessary. You just show up and enjoy!
- Check this website to read a description of the bands who will be playing.
- There is a FREE parking area available at 180 & 200 Glastonbury Boulevard (adjacent to Somerset Square) where you can park and take the FREE shuttle bus (a school bus) to the concert venue.
- The buses run frequently between the parking lot and the concert venue for the duration of the event, so you can come or go at any time.
- If you plan to take the shuttle bus, just be aware that the aisle and the seats are VERY narrow. Pack your gear accordingly.
- Bring your own meal and snacks or bring cash for the food vendors.
- Food items available include: hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, frozen yogurt, ice cream bars, kettle corn, cotton candy, lemonade, soda, water.
- Bring chairs or a blanket to sit on.
- There is plenty of open space to bring balls, frisbees, toys, etc. for the kids to play with.
- The concert venue is stroller accessible (just bring a compact one if you plan to ride the shuttle bus; there’s no need for a really heavy duty stroller here).
- Kids with fur (i.e. dogs) are welcome too! (But not on the shuttle bus I would imagine.)
- Restrooms: porta-potties; no changing area.
Tomorrow, Mandy’s got a VIP tour of a popular pool club. Then on Thursday, it’s our most indulgent installment of the Tiny Diner Series yet.
Also, don’t forget to stop by here and enter our GIVEAWAY for a $25 Price Chopper Gift Card by leaving a comment with the words “Produce for Kids” and your favorite summer fruits or vegetables.
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