Valpo Firefighters 1st Annual Concert in the Park is a Huge Success!

Central Park Plaza was the place to be on Friday night. Music and food usually brings people out. For a good cause, and the citizens come out in droves! That’s what happened at the Valparaiso Firefighters 1st Annual Concert in the Park. The event showcased three nationally known bands that are residing in Northwest Indiana: Red Umbrella, Urbanites, and Sevenglory. The ticket table opened at 6pm and festivities started at 7pm.

What sort of festivities? Bob Schulte, President of the Valparaiso Firefighters Local 1124, gave me the rundown of what was happening that evening.

“Here tonight we’ve got local food vendors that support us throughout the year: Don Quixote, Bon Femme, Verona Pizza, Valpo Velvet, etc. So they all came to support us,” Schulte said. “We’ve had a great turnout. Can’t beat this weather! And Robyn Walsworth, a firefighter’s wife, has been working on this for about four months. She’s been working real hard on this and it absolutely couldn’t have been done it without her.”

The concert is one of multiple benefits hosted by the Valparaiso Firefighters throughout the year. The proceeds go to local establishments and charities like the Boys and Girls Club, the YMCA, the local food pantries, Shop With the Firemen, and the list goes on! Also, proceeds go toward a scholarship that is given to a student from Valparaiso High School. And this event is good beneficial for the community as well.

“I think it’s great that everybody can come out and experience community,” Schulte continued. “They can come out, listen to some good music in a great park. We’re very lucky in Valparaiso to have this great facility to experience music, nature, and each other.”

Justin Savich and his family came out to see the concert. I found them taking pictures with the new Orville Redenbacher statue on the opposite end of the park by Lincolnway.

“My wife and I came out to see the bands. I brought my son and daughter out, too,” said Savich. “I think this is important because it brings everybody together and gets us all united as a community. I love it!”

Central Park Plaza quickly filled with patrons armed with blankets, lawn chairs and cameras. They munched on edibles from the local vendors, relaxed, and enjoyed the music. Children played tag and football near the back of the park in the glow of the streetlamps as the night grew dark. Closer to the stage the music was loud and you could feel the bass thump in your chest. People young and old got up and danced to the beat and faithful fans leaned over the metal fences that separated the crowd from the stage in enthusiastic enthralment. Oh, just a little bit closer to their beloved band...

In a private section meant for bands and family only (I felt special getting in there) I got a chance to speak with a few of the members of Sevenglory before they went on to perform.

Kurt Felsman, the a guitarist and lead vocalist for Sevenglory and Director of Worship at Calvary Church in Valparaiso, was chilling out with his adorable son near the stage as we spoke. He explained to me why this sort of thing was important to Sevenglory.

It’s just a great chance for local musicians to get in front of their hometown and play,” Felsman said. “We’ve been wanting to do it for a while, and it’s just a great chance to show what we’re doing every weekend. It’s really great to be able to draw a crowd for something that is going toward a good cause.”

Jeff Smith, lead guitarist and background vocals for Sevenglory was sitting right next to me, and I asked him for his thoughts on the Concert in the Park.

“It’s been awesome,” Smith exclaimed. “Awesome weather. Everyone who’s been putting it on has been great. Very helpful and hospitable. And it’s great to see all these people out here for a great cause, and helping the Valparaiso Firefighters is just great. We really have to support people in public service. I have a few public service people in my family, too. And it’s great to see the community come out to support them.”

It was a sight to see indeed. The bands had great performances, everyone was enjoying themselves, and the Valparaiso Firefighters Local 1124 can definitely start planning for next year because the Concert in the Park rocked!

To find out more about Sevenglory click here!

Click here to see their Facebook page!!

Take a look at the Urbanites Facebook page!

Want to know more about Red Umbrella? Please, click here! Thank you!!

Click here to see their Facebook page!

Click here to view the full photo gallery!!