I was out walking in rather than on the sunshine (sorry, Katrina) over the Fourth of July holiday and more unconsciously than deliberately walked to and through Howard T. Brown Park at the Norwich Harbor where the beginnings of the stage set-up were visible for the summer concert season, Rock the Docks, that gets started tonight at six and runs into August.
Rock the Docks makes a good argument for those who insist the "second half" of summer is better than the first. Eight to the Bar, who kick off the concert series tonight at six (rain, rain stay away), are a great way to introduce the Summer of '16 to the magic that music and the Norwich Harbor make together when you add food, fun, and friends in abundance.
And mark your calendars, because the Harbor if not the hills surrounding it will be alive with the sound of music for succeeding Wednesdays with The 60's Explosion Show, All Funk'd Up, No Shame, Branded, and concluding with Melaena on August 10th. All kinds of music for all kinds of people.
Rock the Docks is a private/public partnership of agencies, businesses, and associations who work to make Norwich better for all of us on a year-round basis. They came together a couple of summers ago in no small part to give those who used to complain there was nothing to do in downtown Norwich something to do and to stop kvetching while they did it.
And quite frankly I think it works. It's hard to gripe while holding a burger or brat in one hand and a sparkling beverage in the other and swinging and swaying to great live local musicians at the harbor's edge.
Rock the Docks is part of a larger and grander idea intended to put feet on the streets of Chelsea, but it's not the only one idea much less the only attraction on Wednesdays.
Starting this morning at eleven (previous weather disclaimer applies) the Downtown Norwich Farmers Market returns with fresh from the farm to you fruits and vegetables with artisans and others offering hard to find handicrafts.
It's possible you could make yourself a lunch from the produce you've purchased at the Farmer's Market, find a place in Brown Park to enjoy the view and the food and then linger until the music starts. Or you can wander around a bit as there are great places to eat and drink all over downtown Norwich, and still catch the show.
And starting this Friday, also at six, will be even more music beginning with Dan Watson Rockin' the Green at the Norwichtown Green in a Friday series to include Acoustic Pirates, Braiden Sunshine, Ramblin' Dan Stevens, Carrie Ashton and Rob Brannon & Lorraine Mancuso Duo until the middle of August.
Wherever and whenever you choose to enjoy your live music, Norwich gives you two great reasons for Hot Fun in the Summertime.