OCEANSIDE — Oceanside struck up its free summer concerts in the park series with Dixieland music and patriotic tunes to honor veterans at Buddy Todd Park on May 23.
The sun and crowds were out to enjoy upbeat tunes and remember U.S. veterans.
“For a city the size of 180,000, people can come out and be a community,” Eileen Turke with Parks and Recreation said. “It’s terrific.”
Ballad singer Ana Rebecca Smith opened the concert with the national anthem and patriotic tunes, followed by the Norman Major Dixieland Band.
“They have over 6,000 years of experience between them,” Michelle King of Reality Entertainment joked of the five-piece band of seasoned musicians. Actually, the group has been together for more than four decades.
“We’ve worked together as a group and on our own for over 40 years,” Norman Major, the bandleader, trumpet player and vocalist, said.
“The whole allure (of Dixieland) is the upbeat style of music,” Major said.
As music filled the park, children danced in circles and concertgoers dug in to prepacked picnic baskets.
“With our economy the way it is, it’s a neat way to spend time with family,” Mayor Jim Wood said.
Families enjoyed the music and also took time to remember U.S. veterans. Larry and Patty Diener of Rancho Cucamonga listened to music under a red, white and blue umbrella and thought of Larry Diener’s father, a U.S. Army veteran.
Clyde Newman, a U.S. Army veteran that served in the Korean War, wore his army cap adored with pins. For Newman, the importance of the Memorial Day celebration was to honor all military past and present. “To show we haven’t forgotten them,” Newman said.
Two more concerts in the park are scheduled. On July 17, Boys of Summer will play at Rancho Del Oro Park, and Aug. 14, calypso band Upstream will play at Mance Buchanon Park. For more information on concerts in the park, visit www.ci.oceanside.ca.us.