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Dancing, drinking, or just listening, large crowds turn out for the popular Sunday Summer Concert Series & Dances sponsored by the PCAA at Marktplatz in downtown Fredericksburg. Photo by Phil Houseal


Details:
 PCAA Summer Concert Series & Dances are held on Sunday evenings from 6:30- 8:00pm at the Adelsverein Halle on Marktplatz Square. They are free and attendees can bring something to sit on, and something to eat and drink. Upcoming dates:
June 26 - Bandaids
July 24 - Raggety Cats
Aug 28 - Almost Patsy Cline
Sept 11 - Texas Dutchmen

 



webmaster: phil@fullhouseproductions.net

Summer of Sundays

by Phil Houseal
June 15, 2011

 

Everyone who visits Fredericksburg knows about Oktoberfest. That major event draws thousands of revelers and raises thousands of dollars every year.

But Fredericksburgers enjoy the benefits of the annual fall party all year long through its support of the popular Summer Concert Series.

The Pedernales Creative Arts Alliance is putting on its 26th season of the concerts. The series started in 1985 when the Fifth Army Band appeared at the Old Gazebo behind the library, according to Allen Spousta, Coordinator and Director of the PCAA Summer Concert Series and Dances.

Dances?

“All of a sudden people started bringing their dancing shoes,” Spousta explained. “And they wanted to have a little Sunday afternoon dance. So that’s what we are doing now.”

About five years ago, responsibility for organizing the performances landed in Spousta’s lap - literally.

“Micki George - who had headed it up for quite some time - stopped by one afternoon and dropped all of her noteboooks in my lap and said, you are the best one for this,” Spousta said. “And it’s been a blast!”

The normal range of events runs from April through August, but organizers are adding another special concert in September - one month before Oktoberfest.

This is an encore concert this season and a pre-Oktoberfest warm-up polka dance. Because the 30th Anniversary of Oktoberfest was such a huge success, the PCAA is presenting this concert as a sincere "thank you" to the community of Fredericksburg for the continued support they give toward the success of the annual Oktoberfest celebrations.

Concerts are generally the last Sunday of the month from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. They are free.

No doubt the shows are popular. A typical performance draws 300 to 400, with some very popular bands bringing in 800 to 900 fans. “The closer is generally Almost Patsy Cline - they have a big following.”

Wandering under the Adelsverein - the Big Hall - at the May performance revealed folks of all ages and backgrounds. Dancers twirled, but most enjoyed sitting back on a blanket or bench and just listening.

“People bring the kids, young families bring blankets and coolers,” Spousta said. “You need something to sit on? Something to drink? You can bring both, and both can be hard or soft.”

The Sunday evening events draw folks of all ages - even teenagers. “At one show there was a group of teens were swing dancing on the far side of the pavilion,” Spousta said. “I finally got them and said, hey, you guys come dance in the middle of the floor and show these old folks that kids know these dances, too.”

Spousta, born and raised in Michigan, discovered “there were places where it didn’t snow.” So he left the frozen Midwest for a career as a Navy pilot, then a stint in the construction business. He and his wife crossed the country in their RV until their oldest daughter - who was working in Austin - convinced them to check out the Hill Country. They have now been here 10 years.

Like them, many fans come from somewhere else.

“Our concerts draw from surrounding towns. We send them emails about what’s coming up. A lot of them have relatives here, or they just enjoy the atmosphere Fredericksburg presents.”

About the only ones who enjoy the concerts more than the crowds are the bands. “I get emails all the time requesting to come back to play,” he said. “If you don’t make the time and take the time, you have absolutely no idea what you are missing... especially when it’s free!”