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  • Kids dancing, laughing with Green concert series

  • The City of Green Parks and Recreation Division has put serious business on hold to make way for fun for area families this summer. From music to mammals to magic, the city has prepared a lineup to promote both fun and learning with the third annual Green Children’s Concert Series at Boettler Park.

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  • The City of Green Parks and Recreation Division has put serious business on hold to make way for fun for area families this summer. From music to mammals to magic, the city has prepared a lineup to promote both fun and learning with the third annual Green Children’s Concert Series at Boettler Park.
    According to City of Green Communications Coordinator Valerie Wolford, the free series is meant for kids of all ages, with programming beginning at 11 a.m. every Thursday through July 25.  
    “The events are geared toward the younger ages — primary school age and younger,” Wolford said. “Those age groups tend to get the most out of these concerts because they are really geared for children.”
    Wolford said that the city has other programming for older children, but this is one of few events designed specifically for early learning. As the mother of two children of her own, Wolford knows that it’s important to get kids out of the house during the summer months.
    The series is held at Boettler Park, which boasts a pavilion and a large playground. Babysitters, nannies, grandparents and stay-at-home parents are invited to come and engage in fun and interactive programming.
    “Whether you have a toddler or a school-age child, it’s all about bringing families together,” Wolford said, adding that families are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and a sack lunch to the programs.
    According to Wolford, the series previously focused on music programming, but this year they have expanded to various acts that call for audience involvement.
    “We’re trying to make the programming really interactive. Most of the shows have some kind of interactive component,” Wolford said.
    On June 13, the city hosted Outback Ray, a local animal enthusiast who brings along captive-born, exotic animals including snakes, birds and an alligator. In addition to musical acts like Roots to Rhythm, a drum circle and rhythm group, the city will host two magic acts, another animal show and a program that centers on dance.
    According to Wolford, last year some of the concerts drew a crowd of more than 100 people, but the park’s pavilion can accommodate for about 200.
    At the June 13 event with Outback Ray, Wolford estimated that about 200 people were in attendance.
    Janet Hill, a stay-at-home mom, joined the festivities with her two young children. Hill, a Green resident, has taken her kids to all of the programs so far this year and anticipates that she’ll be attending several in the future.
    “It’s definitely good to get them out of the house and go do something other than watch TV and play video games and that sort of thing,” Hill said. “We’ve gone before and packed a lunch and gone to play at the playground; The kids really like it.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Annemarie Crouse, another caregiver in attendance, brought eight kids to Outback Ray’s show. Crouse babysits several children and also brought along her youngest daughter, making up a group ranging in age from 19-months to 10-years-old.
    “It was a great age group and they all absolutely loved it,” Crouse said. “(Outback Ray) did a really good job. He made sure he got every child up there at least one time to touch some kind of animal which I thought was amazing because there were probably 50 to 75 kids there.”
    Crouse said she’s delighted that the city can offer these events and help to get kids outside and put a break in the day.
    “It was definitely a nice program I’m glad they had it. The kids really loved it,” she said.
    All concerts will be held at 11 a.m. every Thursday excluding July 4 at Freda-Hunter Bates Pavilion at Boettler Park, 5300 Massillon Rd. in Green. The series began on June 6 and the last program will be held on July 25. There is no cost to attend.
    Wolford said that the parks will continue as planned unless there is heavy a downpour or thunderstorms, but status updates are available at the city’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/cityofgreenohio or on their Web site at www.cityofgreen.org