(Dave Boyd/Johnson City Press)
Locust Street resident Betty Moore decided Sunday afternoon to take a short stroll with her Basset hound, Belle, to the season’s first Historic Tree Streets Music in the Park concert.
“I was coming here,” Moore said. “I know when these are going on up here and I come.”
As she pointed out and told the story of the Pin oak dedicated to “an original Tree Streeter,” William B. Miller, on his 100th birthday, Moore, a 50-year resident, said her motivation for joining her neighbors and friends at Veterans Park on Southwest Avenue is to experience camaraderie and fellowship.
“You get to see lots of your neighbors,” Moore said. “I’m just delighted that we have this little park that has always been a park for us.”
Volunteer event organizers and Tree Streets residents Patty and Jeff Estes said all the trees in the park make the event even more inviting with shade for musicians and visitors.
“Last month was rained out, unfortunately,” Patty said. “This would have been our second time. But this is the first one.”
As Rockingham Road began playing at 3 p.m., Patty and Jeff said they were excited to see their neighbors joining in on the fun.
“For being early, this is pretty good,” Patty said about attendance. “It’s good to see everyone coming out. There are still people filtering in.”
Jeff said attendance has been known to increase as word spreads that the event has started each summer.
“Usually as the season goes on, there’s an increase as people become more aware that it’s starting again,” Jeff said about attendance overall. “Cooler, fall weather helps, too.”
When it comes to their favorite aspect of the event, Jeff and Moore had the same answer.
“We like the camaraderie around the neighborhood,” Jeff said. “It brings the neighborhood together to enjoy the afternoon. You get to see neighbors that you don’t normally get to see through the week.”
As the evening progressed, more faces turned their attention to the music and more lawn chairs could be seen planted in the grass.
People riding their bikes and walking their dogs stopped to tap their toes to the bluegrass tunes, of which Rockingham Road played plenty.
Donations are collected for all musicians, which the Esteses said they are in charge of booking.
As someone who enjoys being active in her neighborhood, Moore said she is proud her neighborhood has so many opportunities to come together in support of certain initiatives and, in this case, music and entertainment.
“We do lots of things in this neighborhood that bring us together and all,” Moore said. “We support musicians. We have a lot of good groups come here.”
Free community-sponsored concessions including popcorn and lemonade, an idea the Esteses implemented last year when they took over as organizers, also adds to the festive atmosphere.
Music in the Park is held every second Sunday of the month from June to September and is sponsored by the Southside Neighborhood Organization.
The Esteses said the event is open to everyone, not just Tree Streets residents.
“Come out,” Patty said. “It’s not just for the residents.”
“Yeah, it’s for everyone,” Jeff said.For more photos from the event, check out Dave Boyd's Music in the Park gallery.