The warmth of the setting sun across your face. The feeling of grass beneath your feet. The sound of music wafting through the air into your ears.
In life, sometimes it’s the simple things that bring the most joy.
Following one of the most difficult Spring’s the community has faced throughout its long history, over the past several weeks the annual MainStreet of Fremont Concert in the Park series has provided temporary respite from the devastation, angst, and concern felt throughout the Fremont area by giving area residents a chance to again enjoy the simple things.
Music, food, sun, fun, and quality time spent with family.
On Thursday, hundreds of area residents gathered for the third installment of the monthlong concert series held at John C. Fremont Park and were able to enjoy some of those simple things that seem to bring a smile to everyone’s face.
“That’s what it’s really all about,” MainStreet of Fremont Executive Director Cortney Schafer said. “Giving people a chance to get outside and relax.”
While the night’s main entertainment was provided by Omaha-based band NextGen, for many kids in attendance the real fun began before they ever stepped on stage.
Prior to the start of the concert, kids enjoyed a bounce house, dodgeball games and facepainting with help from volunteers from the Fremont Parks and Recreation Department.
“It’s really great to see all the kids running around and enjoying the park, and not tethered to their electronic devices,” Schafer said.
Alongside kids enjoying the summer sun, parents and families pulled out their lawnchairs, sat back, and listened to the musical stylings of longtime Concert in the Park Series’ performers NextGen.
Much like the Concert in the Park Series itself, NextGen is also a family affair.
The band is made up of “two guys who are brothers, their sons, and a close family friend” according to information on the band’s Facebook page.
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NextGen features Chris Johnson on guitar, Eric Johnson on bass, Gary Larsen on keyboard, Reeve Johnson on keyboard, and typically Nick Johnson on drums.
On Thursday, Doug Montera filled in on drums as the band played lots of fun, well-known hits from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s meant to get people up and dancing.
The band’s motto is “Blood is indeed thicker than water, and can also create some awesome grooves” which held true on Thursday night.
While enjoying the NextGen, event goers also enjoyed tasty grub from several local restaurants including Valentino’s pizza, Baby Huey’s barbecue, Taqueria Reinita, Tacos Villasenor, and Polymath Cyber Cafe.
Area residents who may have missed out on Thursday’s festivities still have one more chance to get down to John C. Fremont Park during the last night of the Concert in the Park Series next Thursday, June 27.
The final Concert in the Park series show will feature High Heel, which will be returning to perform in the park for the eleventh time.
High Heel covers a wide variety of crowd favorite songs including classic rock, 70’s, 80’s & 90’s with some country, disco and a few sweet ballads.
High Heel covers a wide variety of songs including Lady Antebellum, Journey, Boston, Kansas, Pat Benatar, Heart, Fleetwood Mac, REO, KC and the Sunshine Band, Donna Summer, Sugarland, Shania Twain, and many more.
The band’s is most often recognized by its frontwoman and lead singer Lisa Larsen. Larsen was formerly the lead singer for the band “High Heel & the Sneekers” back in the early 90’s, which was inducted inot the Iowa Rock’ n Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.
The final Concert in the Park Series performance will begin at 7 p.m. with children’s activities begin at 6:30 prior to the concert on June 27.
The Concert in the Park series is sponsored by Methodist Fremont Health, First State Bank & Trust Fremont, Edward Jones (Justin and Joel Jelkin), Nye Legacy, Big Bog 98.9, AM 1340, Mix 105.5, and Dodge County CVB, and the City of Fremont.