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Polka night in Hubbard

Residents get out, find some shade and listen to orchestra

HUBBARD — With temperatures reaching into the lower 90s, more than 50 people were able to find shade among the many trees at Harding Park in Hubbard for the Sunday evening concert-in-the-park series, the day the event began for the summer.

Rex Taneri and his Orchestra provided polka-style music, bringing some members of the audience to their feet to dance or sing along.

Taneri of Canfield, a Warren native, said the band lost 17 shows this summer because of coronavirus-related cancellations, but there are still some events the band can play.

“We are playing other places that want polka music, such as St. Mary’s. Pa., and other outside concerts, so we are doing well despite the loss. I can’t complain,” Taneri said.

He said the group has been fortunate to play every summer for the past 25 years at Harding Park.

The group members said they are glad to be able to do an in-person concert outside instead of being watched on a computer screen.

“It’s good to be seen and not viewed,” member Joe Zdelar of Brookfield said.

The concert brought people from several counties and Pennsylvania.

Those in the park spread out amongst the shade of the trees.

Shirley Beck of Austintown said it is “wonderful” to be able to get outside for a change.

‘It’s nice to be here and sit with others while being safe,” she said.

“This is better than having to be sitting at home. It’s a nice summer night out,” Norma Digacimo of Austintown said.

Mary Jean Yohman of Austintown said she and her friends plan to go to as many concerts as they can this summer.

“We like the music and the humidity is not as bad. There have been so many concerts canceled. It’s nice to get out any night,” she said.

Bob Sofranec of Boardman was the chauffeur for four of his friends who came to the concert.

“We try to go to all the lawn concerts, so we are glad some are still being held,” he said.

Barb Balko of Hermitage, Pa., attends concerts at Buhl Park in Sharon, Pa., but often comes to concerts in Ohio.

“The music is always great anywhere I go,” she said.

Kathy Lealy and Ann Dobler, both of Hermitage, said they like polka music and know some of the band members, so they put up their lawn chairs in the front row of the bandstand shelter.

“The weather is not that bad. It is pleasant,” Dobler said.

Taneri said the band took requests from the audience.

“If you have a favorite tune come on up and ask us and we will play it for you. We would be very happy to,” he said.

Roberta Ballone and Gasper Ballone of Hermitage said they like to dance so the two went up by the bandshelter as the band performed.

“It’s fun to be able to listen to the music and also dance to it,” Roberta said.

The free concerts are held at 6 p.m. each Sunday at Harding Park’s band shelter. The next group is Music at the Madison on July 12.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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