A good time at Constant’s Wharf

Published 6:45 pm Saturday, June 21, 2014

Most Friday evenings find me in the same place I can be found most other nights of the week: sitting behind my desk and doing what I can to help produce Saturday’s paper. Such is the plight of the editor of a community daily newspaper, and most of the time I am at peace with that.

But a couple of nights ago, as I drove home with my work completed, I stopped for the light at the intersection of North Main Street and Constance Road. As I watched a flood of pedestrians crossing the street from Constant’s Wharf, I remembered one of the things that makes my evening work schedule occasionally frustrating: I hardly ever get to attend Suffolk’s TGIF parties.

According to city officials, about 750 people attend the events each week during the summer. They get to hear live music from popular local bands, and they get to enjoy “fair food” from a variety of vendors, all in a family friendly atmosphere that includes activities for children.

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I have always loved live music, and my wife and I have enjoyed many fine concerts together. Some of the most fun shows we’ve seen have been at venues like Constant’s Wharf, where it’s easy to get close to the band and you can spread out a blanket and enjoy time with friends without feeling the crush of humanity that comes with seeing bands in large venues.

Want to dance? There’s plenty of room in front of the stage to do so, but Annette would probably leave me there alone if I tried such a thing in public, so don’t look for me there.

Want to chat with your friends? Move to the back of the lawn, where it’s quieter, and you can enjoy conversation with the music as a backdrop. There’s an easygoing vibe at TGIF, and just about anything but illegal or obnoxious behavior is OK.

The concert season started on Friday, but there are plenty of Fridays remaining this summer for you to enjoy the free shows. The remaining Constant’s Wharf schedule is as follows: June 27, Strictly Bizzness; July 11, The Janitors; and July 18, Flat Nation. August shows are held at Bennett’s Creek Park. That schedule includes the following: Aug. 1, The Fuzz Band; Aug. 8, The Deloreans; Aug. 15, Beatle Mania Returns; and Aug. 27, The Michael Clark Band.

So grab a lawn chair or a blanket and head out to the park on Friday. And have a hot dog for me while you’re there.