Free summer concerts at Pells Park in Paxton come to an end

PAXTON — The annual series of summer concerts in the pavilion at Paxton’s Pells Park has come to an end — at least for now.

The board of directors for the nonprofit organization Paxton PRIDE, which has sponsored the annual Music Under the Stars concerts, made the reluctant decision “within the last week or so” to cancel those planned for this summer, said the board’s president, Teri Hancock.

Whether any more are held in future years remains to be seen, Hancock said.

“The board decided to take a step back for a year or so and to see what input we get (from the community), and then maybe we’ll try it again down the road (depending on the interest),” Hancock said, “because you’d hate to see anything that has gone on this long just end.”

The annual series of four Sunday-evening concerts — all free to the public — had been offered for “many, many years,” Hancock said, unable to estimate just how long.

“I’ll bet we were doing it in the mid-1990s,” she said.

There were two reasons PRIDE’s board decided to cancel this summer’s concerts, Hancock said: (1) a lack of funding to pay the bands and (2) poor attendance.

“I’d hate to see anything we’ve been doing go by the wayside, because back in the good, old days we filled that auditorium,” Hancock said. “The people who came (to the concerts) just totally enjoyed it. There were a lot of the same people (at each concert), so it was kind of like a gathering every month where everyone would see each other out there.”

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