By Deb Everts
Pack up the family and spend a fun summer evening at Allegany State Park’s 11th annual Beach Party on Friday, Aug. 16 from 3 to 10 p.m. at the Red House Beach area.
The event kicks off at 3 p.m. with a showcase of local vendors and organizations sponsored by the Seneca-Salamanca Chamber of Commerce.
Visitors will have the opportunity to check out the many great products available in the local area including handmade jewelry, bath and body products, all natural honey and a variety of baked goods. Empire Animal Rescue Society (E.A.R.S.) will be onsite with some adoptable pets looking for forever homes.
The music begins at 6 p.m. with Artist-in-Residence Ken Hardley, a musician, entertainer and socialite from Upstate New York. Hardley has dedicated his life to restless explorations of a variety of musical and literary mediums making him a performer of broad musical taste and perspective.
Whether hosting Rolling Hills Radio, fronting a band, emceeing an event or playing solo, he creates an edgy, warm, funny, unpredictable, cerebral atmosphere that the whole family can enjoy.
Headlining the music of the evening is the KoKoMo Time Band that takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. The group will play oldies of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s and Beach Party tunes by Jimmy Buffett and the Beach Boys.
Established in 1999, the Kokomo Time Band has played in the 2014 Buffalo Italian Festival, the 2015 and 2016 Falls Street events in Niagara Falls, 10 Taste of Orchard Park events, the 2017 Town of Niagara Concert Series, Seneca Nation of Indians Fall Fest (10 years), Lucy Fest (4-5 years) and the City of Jamestown events including the 2017 McCrea Park Dedication and 2018 Bridge Fest.
The band was also honored to play during the Independence Day Celebration this past Fourth of July on the Main Stage in the City of Niagara Falls.
Offering a refreshing alternative in local music, The KoKoMo Time Band has nearly 200 songs in their song list that they can tailor to make any concert and/or party event a hit.
Current band members include Spencer Drake, virtuosic guitarist and bass; John Guras, keyboards and vocals; Vince Micheche, bass and vocals; and the band’s founder and leader Jim Steffan, drums and vocals.
This family-friendly event will also feature activities for all ages including crafts for kids. Families can sign up for the sand sculpture contest and put their creativity to the test. Building starts at 5:30 p.m. and judging will be at 6:30.
The “Ask the Naturalist” table will feature some interactive displays where park naturalists will be on hand to answer visitors’ questions about the park’s flora and fauna.
Red House Beach will be open for swimming from 11 a.m. through 7:45 p.m. People should bring lawn chairs or blankets and can pack a picnic supper if they wish.
Beginning at 4 p.m., J-Con Concessions will host a chicken barbecue, until sold out.
For more details, contact the Allegany State Park Environmental Education/Recreation Department at (716) 354-9101, ext. 236. Visit parks.ny.gov online, find the park on Facebook, or follow on Instagram and Twitter.