MERIDEN —Organizers of the Twilight Music Series are promising bigger and better bands on Friday nights and three larger Pop-Up Market events on the Meriden Green on Saturdays.
”We got a lot of good music this year,” said Steve Robichaud, who founded the series 13 years ago. “We got a good response on the Saturday events. The first pop-up is on June 23. It promises to be a really fun-packed summer.”
The series has gone from the parking lot of Robichaud’s East Main Street frame shop to the courtyard on West Main Street and, last year, to the amphitheater at the Meriden Green.
”We used to do a concert series in the public park, but it sort of fell along the wayside,” said Parks Director Chris Bourdon. “We think this is something the city should be doing. We’re going to provide the logistical support to do it.”
For the first time, the city parks and recreation department has recognized the Twilight Music Series as a city-sponsored event and will provide the stage, toilets, and cleanup for free, returning proceeds from vendors and donations back into the music series coffers. The determination was made based on last year’s success, Robichaud said.
The first event is Friday, June 15, and features Beatles tribute band Number 9. The first Pop-Up Market event is headlined by The Berna-dettes on June 23.
“The Bernadettes will provide an old-time block party feel with great rhythm and blues,” fellow organizer David Grodzicki said in a press statement.
The second Saturday Pop-Up Market will bring Joby Rodgers, performing his Michael Jackson tribute, on July 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday nights will feature local bands such as North Cove Rogues, Wastin’ Bullets, Whiskey Wine and Coke, plus series stalwarts like Rambling Dan Stevens, Marissa Cardona and Family, and the popular Inner Groove.
The Coconuts music and comedy team will hit the stage on Aug. 3 and the season’s closing act, scheduled for Sept. 8, will be announced soon. That event will help raise funds for the Fischer House and their military families, Grodzicki said.
Robichaud, who moved out of state last year, has placed Grodzicki and Carrie Teele in charge of logistics but he meets regularly with them to talk details.
Teele schedules food trucks and vendors. Some of the expenses include generators to power the bands and the vendors, and promotional items and banners. Finances are being handled through the YMCA. Top sponsors include C-Town, Valentin Karate and the Meriden Farmers Market.
“Carrie has been the driving force behind the pop-up markets that we expanded this year, Robichaud said. “Dave is the man on the ground.”