Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 06-24-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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Page 43 of 51

24 SUMMER 2020 | THE VALLEY BREEZE 24 24 Summer events – redesigned Local organizers shift gears to provide summer fun With signs of summer popping up everywhere – beaches reopening, ice cream shops scooping out our favor- ites, warm weather arriving – people are feeling ready to get out and enjoy the season. The summer of 2020 may not be exactly what we are used to when it comes to fun in the sun. With news of favorite seasonal parades, fireworks and events being canceled due to size limitations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we're all in need of something to look forward to and maybe a bit of an escape. There is good news on the horizon: Local event coordinators are getting creative and choosing to adapt in ways that can continue to provide area residents with some summer flavor and fun. Rhode Islanders are resilient and don't shy away from a challenge, so it's not surprising that many are working hard to redesign the way summer entertainment will be provided this year. Levitt Amp Woonsocket Music Series Meghan Rego, director of resource development and communications for NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley and spokesperson for the Levitt Amp Woonsocket Music Series, said that organizers have been brainstorm- ing ways to bring the Woonsocket music series to audiences while still following the state's guidelines on restricted numbers for gatherings. The Levitt Amp series is made possible with matching grants from the Levitt Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to strengthen communities through music. In past years, after Woonsocket was selected as a site for the series follow- ing a voting process, the live music events have been held on Friday nights at River Island Park, with full lineups of bands drawing large crowds. While the live, outdoor portion of entertainment has been put on hold until 2021, with Woonsocket officially securing the series without having to By LAURA COLANTONIO Editorial & Design Team Coordinator go through the public voting phase of past years, organizers did not want to give up on the vision of bringing peo- ple together this summer. The organization will present a vir- tual music series, with programming being offered online every Friday night through Aug. 14. The series will highlight clips and footage from past events, provided by radio station WOON. Viewers will be encouraged to expe- rience the music in new ways, whether it be with family, from their own living rooms, on an outdoor projector with friends, or in other creative viewing ways. To engage participation, organizers are incorporating a social media chal- lenge with prizes up for grabs. Rego said they'll be "connecting this with a social media challenge where we are challenging people to show off their #musicmoves." People can show their dance moves, their viewing spaces, what food they are eating while watching the series, what their kids are doing while they stream, anything connected to their virtual concert series viewing expe- rience. After posting to social media with the hashtag #musicmoves, chal- lenge winners will receive gift cards to local restaurants. Be sure to save the date of July 31, with a special twist to the virtual series on that night. "The big thing that we are really excited about" is participating in the National Levitt Amp virtual series, said Rego. "There are 20 Amp sites across the country, and many had to cancel or dramatically reduce the series." Viewers are invited to watch all of the series from other communities. On July 31, at 7:30 p.m., it will be Woonsocket's time to shine. People from all over the country canwatch Woonsocket's broadcast. There will be extra promotion provided by Levitt Amp for that date. Rego also said that some time before the end of 2020, the group hopes to provide some kind of in-person gath- ering with live music at 40 South Main St. "There will be live music, some kind of gathering – something to bring people together." Stay tuned to LevittAMPWoonsocket/ for additional announcements and up-to-date infor- mation. Glocester's Ancients & Horribles Organizers of another Rhode Island summer tradition – the July 4th Ancients & Horribles Parade – weren't quite ready to let go of the spirit of their event. Each year Glocester resi- dents spoof local and national politics with outrageous floats in a parade down Main Street, an event that dates back to 1926. Parade Chairwoman Tanya Bothelo said that while it was obvious that the parade could not happen this year due to restrictions on social gatherings, organizers still wanted to keep the tra- dition alive. Bothelo said this year residents are encouraged to decorate their yards: "Let your yard be your float." Organizers kept hearing about what a family tradition it is for people to decorate floats together, and wanted to keep that going for residents, while honoring social distancing. "We need- ed a safe way to do that," Bothelo said. Having people decorate their yards gives everyone a way to interact and still have something to celebrate the holiday, even without the parade this year. See EVENTS, Page 26

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