Talleyrand Park - Summer Craft Beverage Expo Bellefonte, PA 16823
By Serge Bielanko
Between all the classic cars rolling up and down the streets this weekend as part of the town's annual Bellefonte Cruise event, you would have to forgive a person if they suddenly felt like they'd been teleported back to another era.
A time when young ladies in Poodle skirts are a distinct possibility. A time when handsome fellas in convertibles park at the curb and comb their hair (or in this case...maybe just pretend?!) Back to a time when dancing to 45 records was all the rage and young people had never heard of YouTube or Facebook or any of that stuff.
Heck, the only thing missing from a total and complete time-machine trip back to 1964 Bellefonte would be an actual Beatles concert down in Talleyrand Park, you know?
Well, guess what?
Your wish is the Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association's (BHCA) command. That's right, you heard it here. The Beatles are coming! The Beatles are coming! Or, at least the next best thing, I guess. Of course, John and George are sadly gone, and Paul and Ringo are probably very busy watching polo with the Queen this weekend, but never you mind those small details, my friend.
That kind of stuff is JoAnn Knupp's to deal with. As Chairperson of BHCA's Concerts in Talleyrand Park, Knupp has dealt with booking a whole lot of musical acts through the years. But getting the (sort of) Beatles has been a whole new ballgame.
"Don Holderman, Assistant Manager at the Borough, said to me a couple years ago, "Wouldn't it be nice to have Beatlemania on the park lawn like they do at Penn State?" Knupp recalls. "And I agreed. So, finally, this year, I decided to contact a certain talent agency to set it up. They did and everything was set. Or so I thought."
This is where it gets good. Knupp soon learned that if you want to book the very best imitators in the world, well...you have to watch out for the imitators of the imitators.
"Then I learn that we need to set a sound system up which we never do because the bands bring their own," Knupp continues. "So someone said call George Powell, he does the sound on Campus for Beatlemania. George tells me I ordered the wrong band! I learn for the first time that there are many Beatlemania bands! I cancelled the first band. They threatened to sue me but didn't. So I set this group up and they send the contract through and I find all this stuff they want like snacks, long mirrors in dressing room, dinner at 5pm, hotel rooms, etc! So that's the story!"
The Cast of Beatlemania need snacks and mirrors? You're darn right they do! Why? Because they are quite possibly the best Beatles tribute band in the world. And now they've been lured to little old Bellefonte by the BHCA's magic promise of screaming, crying crowds going absolutely bonkers from the very first note! OK...maybe not. But I think that is possible too. I mean, according to many who once saw the REAL Beatles, this band is an extremely close recreation of the Fab Four. 'About as close as you can get', they say.
And so Talleyrand Park (Match Factory/Track-Side) is bound to be sock-hoppin' this Sunday evening, Father's Day, June 16th, at 7pm as part of the BHCA's Summer Sounds concert series. That's when all the revving classic car motors in town will be simmering down just in time for the boys from Liverpool (kind of) to cast their spell over young and old alike. Kids are more than welcome; in fact, as a mom or dad, I almost feel like you have a sort of rock-n-roll OBLIGATION, an honorable DUTY, if you will, to make sure that your sons and daughters are introduced to some of the best music ever written and performed in the history of all mankind!
Plus, Dads deserve this. It's their special day. The third annual Summer Craft Beverage Expo will be happening in the same place from 3:00pm-6:00pm. Buy dad a tasty cold beer from Centre County and let him show the people of this land his incredible moves when then band kicks into 'I Saw Her Standing There'!
It will be a night he never forgets.
Truth is, this will be a night that no one will ever forget if they come out.
Bring Grandma. Bring the kids. Bring you shrieking voice.
Because you'll only have one chance to yell "I love you, Ringo" this summer.
And this is it.
The 38th Annual BHCA Summer Sounds Concert Series continues Sunday, June 16th at 7pm with The Cast of Beatlemania.
Talleyrand Park, Bellefonte, PA. (Match Factory/Track Side)
There will be some seating at the Expo. Lawn chairs and blankest suggested, however.
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