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OONA cancels summer concert series at Point Breeze

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Dave Viterna Group performs on July 2, 2019 at the Orleans County Marine Park to kick off last summer’s concert series. There were about 500 people at the concert. The park is located on Route 98 in Point Breeze along the Oak Orchard River. It has hosted the summer concert series since 2010.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 May 2020 at 10:31 am

CARLTON – The Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association has cancelled its summer concert series in Point Breeze due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

OONA has been organizing a summer concert series since 2010 at the Orleans County Marine Park. There are usually six bands that perform and those concerts draw about 400 people on average.

“After careful deliberation, the Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association has determined that the 2020 Summer Concert Series at the Orleans County Marine Park at Point Breeze will not be conducted this summer,” OONA said in a statement. “OONA officers based this decision on the fact that coronavirus continues to pose a serious threat to the health and safety of the community and may continue to do so well into the summer.”

The concerts are a big fundraiser for OONA. The organization used some of those proceeds to donate $5,000 back to community organizations last year. OONA isn’t sure if it will be able to donate funds to any local agencies this year.

Not only are the concerts cancelled, but OONA expects it will have to scale back or eliminate other social events that raised some money, said Tracy Wilmot Panczyszyn, OONA communications officer.

The OONA board will discuss if it can donate to other groups this year, even at a much reduced level.

The Clarendon Lions Club also raised money at the concerts by cooking food and serving refreshments. The 50/50 raffles and admission price also raised funds that were given back to the community.

“We regret taking the year off,” OONA said in a statement. “However, we encourage your support of our local sponsors who have made our fundraising efforts possible.”

OONA will display signs of past sponsors of the concert series on a fence at the park along Route 98. OONA urges support of those businesses during these challenging economic times.

“And, last, we would be remiss not to extend our gratitude to the bands, vendors, attendees and volunteers who have made this event a success over the years, and wish nothing but the best to you all at this difficult time,” OONA said in a statement. “We hope that this pause will be temporary and we can practice social distancing at a concert in the Marine Park in the very near future.”

The playground at the park is currently off limits to the public due to Covid-19 concerns.

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