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Whale Watching, 8/31/05
Pack a picnic and stop for supper at a local park, pond or beach on your way to the bandstand.
IF YOU GO
Bring a lawn chair or blanket, and don’t forget the bug spray.
It’s early evening, and a warm breeze carries the smells of damp grass and children slathered with bug spray and sunscreen.
There are bright splashes of color all around the gazebo on Milton’s town green, where families have laid out beach blankets and unfolded lawn chairs.
Soon, the music begins, and people start swaying, snapping their fingers or tapping their feet to Celtic music.
The group, Curragh’s Fancy, is performing. On other evenings in other towns, people will listen to country tunes, blues and even a bit of rock.
Free summer concerts are a tradition in more than a dozen South Shore communities. Many are paid for with arts council grants.
At the Milton concert, older residents form an outer circle around the gazebo. They sit in lawn chairs, heads nodding with the upbeat tempo, smiling during more melancholy songs.
Closer to the gazebo, parents sitting on blankets keep watchful eyes on children’s play. Some couples exchange child-watch duty so they can mingle with neighbors.
The children dance, hold cartwheel contests and play tag, stopping only when an ice cream truck pulls up to the curb. The 4-foot-and-under crowd starts a small stampede until parents rush in to bring order.
Behind the gazebo, a touch football game for all ages starts up. Regulars say pickup baseball, soccer and football games are part of the concert experience for those who’d rather toss a ball than sit in a chair.
As some of the children tire out, they find their way back to their parents. They curl up on blankets for a time, then jump back up to play.
“We try to come every week,” says Ann Gallagher, 50, of Milton, who is there with her sister, Susan Gallagher. “... Everyone gets together to relax, and it’s always a beautiful night.”
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