By Terry Duffy
As most visitors realize, the Niagara County Peach Festival is much more than just peaches. It’s a celebration of community. From the various competitions to the cheerleader displays, the many on-site vendors at Academy Park, the Center Street parade to on-stage entertainment, the Peach Festival certainly provides the venue to showcase the area’s best.
And what of this year’s entertainment? Festival visitors to the Alphonso I. DiMino Memorial Band Shell will discover the offerings cover the bases when it comes to spanning the generations of music. On stage entertainment opened Thursday with Nerds Gone Wild. On Friday, the ’70s southern-blues rock sounds of the Thurman Brothers Band from Niagara Falls – a River Region favorite – will entertain. And come Saturday, Western New York’s Terry Buchwald returns with his legendary “Tribute to the King” Elvis Presley performance.
On Sunday, forgo the NFL season-opening games on the tube (remember: the Bills-Jets game is Monday night), and relive your high school days with a performance by Everyday People from 3-6 p.m. on the band shell stage. The band, featuring musicians Bob Volkman, Tony Beccari, Rich DelZoppo, Russ Previte, Tom Greco, Frank Fracassi and Carl Filbert, traces its beginnings to the ’60s pre-urban renewal days of Niagara Falls – from student performances and contests held back then at Niagara Falls High School where they attended, to the Old Falls Street clubs where they performed.
Everyday People was known back then as the band “Heatwave,” with the name taken from the ’60s-era Motown hit of the same title by Martha and the Vandellas. The group won contests at NFHS and went on to gain national honors in a New York City contest. Following graduation, many of the band members would return to the Falls to perform locally.
Today, they are known as Everyday People and, for more than 15 years, they have been entertaining audiences in Buffalo-Niagara. On Sunday, their return visit to the band shell will again spur some special memories of that unique 1960s-era for many boomer-era Peach Festival attendees.
Lewiston Kiwanis organizers said this weekend’s festival entertainment offerings in the band shell are presented free of charge to visitors.
For more on the Niagara County Peach Festival, visit www.niagaracountypeachfestival.org.