Enjoy music, connect with community at town green concerts

If something like a music concert is good, it’s worth paying for, right? And those who go to the concert should be the ones who pay, right? Well, maybe.

Many parts of our current society press us to value the worth of everything in terms of money. The assumption behind this is often that if something is free it’s either not worth anything, part of a gimmick to get you to spend money later, or the donor is just foolish. But upon reflection we know that there are many things in our lives whose value cannot and should not be judged in terms of money because they are gifts from the heart.

A good-sized crowd turned out for a previous Grange on the Green concert.
A good-sized crowd turned out for a previous Grange on the Green concert.

Underwriting free community events which bring pleasure and strengthen community ties through people having fun together is a gift from the heart. Businesses and individuals who step up to sponsor such events make it possible for more families to participate, regardless of how tight their budgets are. This provides an opportunity for more Charlotters to meet, get to know each other, and very often, discover some common interests. It’s connecting threads like these that help hold a community together.

With this in mind, for the last few summers the Charlotte Grange in cooperation with the Charlotte Library, has organized a series of family friendly music concerts featuring some of the talent in the region, and held on one of the town’s beautiful public spaces, the town green. Called Grange on the Green, the concert series has become popular, well attended and the kind of relaxed fun that sends you home in a happy mood. Importantly, it’s free to everyone, thanks to local businesses and individuals who underwrite.

On behalf of all of us, Charlotte Grange thanks our sponsors Otter Creek Awnings, ReArch Company, Inc., Philo Ridge Farm, Point Bay Marina, music company Cumbancha and the many Charlotters whose individual donations who make Grange on the Green possible.

Here’s a closer look at this year’s sponsors:

  • Locally owned and operated by third and fifth generation Charlotters, Otter Creek Awnings has been in business since 1976. It offers patio awnings, stationary awnings including deck canopies, window awnings, exterior solar screens and custom weather protection curtains for both residential and commercial clients. Owners Sarah and Kris Larson loved growing up in Charlotte and came from farm families active in the Grange. “There’s nothing better on a summer evening than a picnic and music on the Green, and we really appreciate Charlotte’s Grange and Library for making the concerts possible,” Sarah Larson said.
  • ReArch Company offers an array of services that includes property development, construction management and property management. Founded by John Ilick and headquartered in South Burlington, ReArch was responsible for our Charlotte Library addition. “The quality of their work was exceptional; they managed the challenging logistics of construction while keeping the library open and staying within budget,” said Nan Mason of the Library’s Building Committee.
  • Philo Ridge Farm on Mt. Philo Road has a unique farm market and dining services based on what the 400 acre organic farm produces. Owners Peter Swift and Diana McCargo are devoted to regenerative agriculture practices and contributing to the vibrancy of the Charlotte community.
  • Point Bay Marina on Thompson’s Point Road is a full-service marina with 200 seasonal slips and over 10,000 square feet dedicated to factory authorized repairs of sail and power boats. General Manager Todd Smith said he is glad to give back to the Charlotte community that has long been supportive of the business.
  • Sponsoring for the second year, Cumbancha is a Charlotte-based record label, booking agency and music publisher founded by Jacob Edgar, an ethnomusicologist and music producer. Edgar explains cumbancha is a Cuban word of West African derivation that refers to an impromptu party or musical jam session and implies an opportunity to get together with family and friends to dance, sing and celebrate life.

Because of these sponsors and donations from individual Charlotters, we will do exactly that during this season’s Grange on the Green.

Bring your chair, blanket and picnic to the Charlotte Town Green each Thursday in July for music 5:30-7 p.m. And Adam’s Berry Farm all fruit popsicles for sale while they last.

See the website for information about the music at each concert.

(Linda Hamilton and Lynn Fox are members of Charlotte Grange. For information about Grange programs and membership.)