In what surely will be a night to remember, Sussex County Community College launches its summer family summer concert series, “Thursdays on the Green” on June 30th, with “Rockin’ Fest”, a tribute and benefit for SCCC’s student veterans.
Rockin’ Fest, which begins at 5 p.m., includes three musical bands, vendors, and ends with a fireworks display!
For Nikki Briar, whose band Sweet Briar headlines the music portion of the night, playing in tribute to our veterans is personal. Her husband Staff. Sgt. Angelo Martinez, deployed overseas twice and remains active with the National Guard Army as a recruiter, is a constant reminder to her of the sacrifices our troops make every day.
“Being an Army wife, it hits home,” said Briar, whose known her husband for 10 years, the last seven in marriage. “That’s why performing at these type of events is so important to me. I really try and embrace it into my music. I tend to do a little extra for veterans and for veterans’ organizations.”
Three of Briar’s songs, in fact, available on iTunes, have proceeds earmarked for Heart Songs for Veterans.
Briar, who has opened up for a number of national acts including Blackberry Smoke, Tim McGraw, Billy Currington and Parmalee, someday soon hopes to take her band overseas as a part of a USO tour.
When Briar comes to Newton, she’ll be coming off a tour that’s taken the band through the Carolinas, Illinois, Nashville and other parts of the south.
“We are picking up steam,” said Briar.
“Rockin’ Fest” will also include music by Rick Barth, playing a wide mix of acoustic versions of classic pop and rock cover tunes and Infinite Parallels, whose music includes songs that dominated the 1990’s music charts, like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, STP, and the Smashing Pumpkins.
The night culminates with an awesome fireworks display at 9 p.m., sponsored by Visions Federal Credit Union and Garden State Fireworks. This is the only part of the summer series that requires a parking donation: $10 per car, $5 with a veteran or SCCC student. Proceeds from the event help support SCCC veteran students in need of emergency funding.
The series continues in July, with concerts on July 7th, July 14th, July 21st, and July 28th, and concluding on August 4th. All performances are held on the Connor Green, or in the Pavilion at SCCC. Vendors open at 6 p.m. and the concerts begin at 6:30 p.m., except for June 30th, which starts at 5 p.m. Refreshments are available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds supporting SCCC student scholarship funds. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the show.
On July 7th, the Doo Wop fest will be Desire, followed by headliner Jersey Sound. Jersey Sound, the tri-state’s premier oldies band, with its eclectic blend of classic Oldies, Rock N’ Roll, Motown, R&B, British Invasion and Pop styles, is a fun and lively throwback to a classic era. Desire, a vocal group based in Easton, Pennsylvania, also specializes in the sounds of the 50s and 60s.
Upcoming weeks feature a wide range of diverse music styles. Rockabilly is the theme on July 14th with Gas House Gorillas taking the stage for the evening with their modern spin on this classic eclectic genre. July 21st is 60s night. Ready Steady 60s Band will serve up the hits from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and July 28th is the Billy Joel Tribute, which will celebrate one of music’s most legendary singer-songwriters. Street Light Serenade headlines a night that will feature some of the “Piano Man’s” most beloved anthems. The final week is Grateful Dead week, with tribute band IDB hitting the stage on August 4th.
The Thursdays on the Green summer music series is sponsored by the First Energy Foundation and the Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council. Funding of the SCCC Thursdays on the Green has been made possible by the NJ State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through the State/County Partnership Block Grant Program, as administered by the Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council.
For more information, please visit www.sussex.edu/performingarts.