Summer Delights: Band Concerts And Outdoor Gatherings

Among the summertime joys of living in Worthington are the Wednesday evening concerts by the “Amazing” Worthington City Band. As far back as my brain will take me, I have memories of this weekly tradition.

Of course, as a kid, I didn’t ever sit down and actually listen to the music. I spent most of my time on the playground on equipment that certainly wouldn’t pass muster by today’s safety standards. One of our favorite things to do was stand on the apparatus that had four spring activated seats and try to buck off the people similarly perched precariously on the other sides or standing on the domed middle. Pretty sure our parents weren’t aware of that practice.

I usually had a pocket full of change to spend at the popcorn wagon or the pop machines located by the park office/cabin. Run by Mrs. Janet Petersen, the popcorn wagon always had a long line — adults seeking a box of her freshly-popped kernels and kids waiting to buy the candy that was displayed in a glass case below the service window. I particularly remember Pixie Stix, Milk Duds and licorice strings, although there was a wide assortment. I would steal a few bits of popcorn from my dad’s box, but was much more interested in candy.

Today the band plays on, kids still play on the now-much-safer playground, and the popcorn is sold by local Scouts working out of one of the park’s sheds. (see video link here)

As an adult, I now find much more enjoyment in the Wednesday night music than in the playground. And living right across the street from Chautauqua Park, I can listen from the comfort of my own front deck.

However, up until recently, that has been in small doses, since throughout my career at the Daily Globe I have worked on Wednesday evening — making the law enforcement calls, proofing pages and for many years, typing obituaries. I would usually get done with those assignments and get home just in time to hear the band play the national anthem at the very end of the concert.

Due to some reorganization that has taken place in the newsroom, that is no longer the case. This year, I’ve been home in plenty of time to hear all of the concert. I occasionally wander across the street to get a closer view of who is emceeing that night or the halftime entertainment, but most of the time Hubby Bryan and I are content to sit on the porch and watch all the comings and goings from the park, wave to people we know and drink in the sounds of summer and the concert.

But one concert remains on the summertime schedule, next Wednesday evening. If you haven’t done so, stop by the park at 7:30 p.m., sit down on a bench and support what is one of our community’s most enduring and endearing traditions.



Another delight of the summer — at least for me — is an outdoor gathering with friends. At one such occasion, a Fourth of July weekend soiree hosted by friend Millie Hamman, she served up this pretzel dip on the appetizer table.


Mustard Pretzel Dip

1 cup sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup mustard

½ cup sugar

¼ cup dried minced onion

1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish


Mix all together. Serve with pretzels.