The fourth annual Nesconset Summer Concert Series will kick off on July 5 at the Nesconset gazebo.
Sponsored by the Nesconset Chamber of Commerce and Legis. John Kennedy Jr., R-Nesconset, residents can watch six free concerts on Tuesday nights at 7:30 p.m. in July and August.
“There’s something for everyone in this series,” said Jim Delahanty, vice president of the Nesconset Chamber of Commerce and event organizer.
The bands performing this year were chosen based on who would draw the biggest crowd, Delahanty said. Each tribute band plays popular styles of music that should appeal to all ages.
Almost Queen, a Queen tribute band, will kick off the series on July 5, followed by a the horn-powered Upper Cut on July 12. The Billy Joel tribute band, Songs in the Attic, takes the stage on July 19 with That 70's Band performing dance hits of the 1970s on July 26.
On Aug. 2, hear Hauppauge native Jerry Costanzo and his big nine-piece band playing Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Dean Martin-style music. Three local comedians will wrap up the series on Aug. 9 with family-friendly comedy.
Delahanty started the Nesconset Summer Concert series in 2008.
“I wanted to bring this kind of entertainment to town,” he said. “I’m a former mobile DJ so music has always been part of my life. I used my position as vice president of the chamber to produce these shows. I reached out to the legislature to get a grant. We couldn’t do these shows without that.”
He expects each show to draw up 2,000 people, depending on the weather.
People will come out from Ronkonkoma, Hauppauge and other surrounding towns to attend the concerts, Kennedy said. It’s not uncommon for grandparents, parents and their children spread out with lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the show.
“It’s a great economic stimulus in our community,” the legislator said. “The funding is derived from the [Suffolk County] hotel/motel tax. The lodging tax comes from everyone that comes into Suffolk County to stay overnight.
This year, the concert series hopes to start a new tradition of a local high school student performing the national anthem before each concert. An American flag that was flown over Washington D.C. will be flown on the park's flagpole, which will be replaced with a flag flown over Afghanistan halfway through the series, Kennedy said.
For the third year, the series will partner with the Long Island Cares Food Bank in Hauppauge. Concert goers are asked to bring a can of food or a sealed packaged good to donate.
Last year, the series raised about 200 pounds of food and $1,500 in donations for LI Cares. The nonprofit distributes food to pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, kids programs, senior programs and veteran’s programs throughout Nassau and Suffolk County.
In 2010, LI Cares distributed about six million pounds of food, according to food drive coordinator Elana Sissons. Food drives bring in between 12 to 15 percent of what the food bank distributes each year.