Music by the River returns to Conservation Park this Friday

Children's performer David Archibald will play in this year's Music by the River. Submitted photo.

Desiree DeCoste
Beaver Staff

The town of Greater Napanee’s 2020 Music by the River series had been completely cancelled due to COVID-19 spreading across the globe.

Just when it seemed the outdoor concert series would be shuttered for the summer, KFLA Public Health has allowed musical performances to move forward. So too will Music by the River, which kicks off this Friday with The Monarchs.

Music will get underway at 6 p.m. with gates opening at 5:30 p.m. There will be two more concerts month, Aug. 21 and Aug. 28. The three performances will be at the Conservation Park pavilion.

Once some of the weight of COVID-19 had been lifted the town of Greater Napanee decided a limited-three-performances was the best route to go.

“Though our office and before COVID-19, before all the shut downs started we had the plan of running an extended music by the river series,” stated Kelsey Pearson, the community programming clerk with Community for Greater Napanee. “So in previous years we had Music by the River on several weekends and we were going to be expanding that this year then we had to cancel a lot of our programming and music by the river series was included but once we got the okay from KFLA Public Health to move forward with musical performances, we decided to set up just a limited-three-performances.”

To follow COVID-19 rules and regulations and to encourage physical distancing, the town of Greater Napanee is going to have a limit of 100 people, including the bands and volunteers allowed inside the fenced in event area.

It’s a first come first serve basis with no reservations, it’s free of charge and there will be a check in station where volunteers will be taking down contact information and monitoring how many people are coming into the fenced in event area.

Once inside there will be a ‘picnic in the park’ feel as there will be marked areas for families to sit together but distanced from other families and/or groups.

“Within the event space to further encourage physical distancing,” Pearson expressed. “We’ll have spaces drawn out to encourage a ‘picnic in the park’ feel where you can sit with your family in a little section and not have to worry about clustered people so it’s not such a big crowd. It should be really pleasant and I’m really looking forward to it with all the beautiful trees down there right along the water and listening to the music. It will be a very casual, fun event.”

Some disclaimers for coming to the event are to maintain physical distancing at all times, masks are recommended to be worn in the fenced in event area but are not mandatory, washrooms will not be available, lawn chairs are welcome, and please leave your pets at home.

“We are very excited to be offering a few family friendly activities,” said Pearson. “We know even though there have been so few events this year, we’re really excited to get them started back up. We encourage people to come early too get their spots and we can’t guarantee entry if we reach capacity. I’m hoping we have a great turn out, I’m really excited, it’s a tiny sliver of normalcy we really need, it will be so great to see the community come together like we have been able to in the past.”

Next Friday Aug. 21st is going to be the movie by the river, a company will bring in a big inflatable movie screen, and a movie screening will be right down beside the pavilion, and it will be a family friendly movie.

To finish off the limited-three-performances, on Aug. 28th David Archibald will be performing.

“David Archibald will be performing his kids and family music,” Pearson said. “Where as The Monarchs are going to be a more traditional music that more adults would be interested in, but kids are still going to be able to enjoy it, but it’s more for our traditional music by the river content and then David Archibald is definitely going to be focused on children and families.”


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