It’s hard to believe that for about 15 years, concerts have been performed at The Common Ground at Rotary Park in Sayville. The iconic Pamela Raymond pavilion and the Peace Labyrinth were …
It’s hard to believe that for about 15 years, concerts have been performed at The Common Ground at Rotary Park in Sayville. The iconic Pamela Raymond pavilion and the Peace Labyrinth were built for the purpose of The Common Ground for fulfilling one of its missions stated in its constitution: “to schedule and contract programs and events.”
The Common Ground is a small group of 11 people on the board, an audio engineer and five dedicated gardeners, all who donate their time to make many events happen at the park and to keep it beautiful for our community. The decision to cancel all the Wednesdays in the Park concerts, Family Fridays, Kay Cameron Monday Night at the Movies and Full Moon Labyrinth Walks did not come easily. As our world quickly changed around us, all 11 members of the board of The Common Ground held onto the hope that at some point this summer, the concerts that were planned could begin.
Second vice president of The Common Ground, Colleen Riccomini, began her first term this year. Her duties as that officer are to develop and present a calendar of events to take place at The Common Ground. Riccomini was excited to begin her first year, and all the performers were contacted and scheduled by February 2020!
However, as March approached, it was starting to appear that our world was changing very quickly. We all wondered, and still do, How long would this nightmare last? Riccomini held onto the hope that at least by August, there could be a few concerts to provide to our community. But as time moved on, that possibility started to fade. To answer the question, “Can we have a concert this summer?,” we looked for answers. After much research at all levels of government, it was from the state level where it was learned that even though our concerts were in a park where physical distancing is possible, a concert is considered a “gathering.” In Phase 4, the limit is only 50. The board had decided a long time ago that virtual concerts are just not the same as coming together at the park. The Common Ground is in a murky gray area that does not quite fit in any category set by the state. And of course, this disease is incredibly contagious. Riccomini’s and the board’s hopes were shattered at the July board meeting when it was finally decided to cancel most the events this year, namely Wednesdays in the Park, Family Fridays, Kay Cameron Monday Night at the Movies and Labyrinth Walks. It was a sad moment indeed.
The board is so very grateful to Riccomini for her optimism and dedication to The Common Ground. All of the other 10 board members would like to thank her and all the supporters for their compassion and love towards this community.
Wednesdays in the Park: Bonjourney, The Lazy Bunny Ukulele Band, Drive the Car Tribute Band, Soulstice, Strange Magic, Buoy 34, In The Groove, The Tribunes and SoundSwell
Family Fridays: Erik and His Reptile Adventures, Magic of Amore, Strummin’ & Drummin’, Darlene Graham Song and Dance, Jester Jim and Frogs, Bugs and Animals
We are looking forward to next summer of 2021 when we hope to be able to gather together again at The Common Ground at Rotary Park. Stay updated at www.TheCommonGround.com.