Celebrate Frederick hosts the annual Summerfest Family Theatre series, featuring local and regional performers, as a way of exposing children to the magic of performing arts.
Every Thursday over the summer, a performance from a different entertainer is held at 10:30 a.m. in the Baker Park Bandshell.
“It is a free event, which is really nice because anyone can really take advantage of it, and come enjoy it,” says Executive Director Jennifer Martin.
“It is a great way to break up your day, get outside, spend some time in one of our beautiful city parks and maybe have a picnic afterward, or maybe hit the swimming pool or the playground,” she adds. “It is just a really nice break mid-week to get outside and enjoy some time with your kids.”
There are a number of shows remaining in this year’s season, including Rainbow Rock on July 14, Here Comes Trouble July 21, Yosi on July 28 and King Bullfrog on Aug. 4.
Each show is about 45 minutes long and geared toward preschool to early elementary -aged children. The shows are well attended each week by families, as well as mom groups and area camps.
“I think there is something so fun about a live concert versus listening to the radio or watching something on TV,” Martin says. “So, I think for me the most satisfying thing to see is the kids interacting with the band, dancing, just having a really good time at a live performance.”
It could be an opportunity for parents to expand their children’s experiences, she says.
“Maybe this is one of the first live experiences they have had,” Martin says. “I hope (children) take away a really positive impression of that kind of experience.”
The lineup is picked by a volunteer selection committee each year. The committee reviews submissions and looks at what other communities and organizations are offering.
“We do try to have a variety,” Martin says. “It is all music, but there are different kinds of genres represented to keep it fresh and fun every week.”
In lieu of admission, Celebrate Frederick asks that concertgoers consider bringing a canned food item to the information booth to donate to the Frederick Food Bank.
“Our mission as an organization is to nurture a sense of community,” Martin says. “Offering something that is accessible to everyone is really important to us. Being able to have this program for eight weeks in the summer complete free—it just really helps us to support our mission, and music can help kids develop in so many different ways.
“Although it is fun,it is also very educational,” she continues. “So I think, in that sense, it is a really important service we provide.”