‘Symphony Swim’ kicks off Concord Recreation programs Friday

By Maureen Costello Correspondent
March 7, 2023

Mermaids, underwater egg hunts, doggie dips and even live opera singers performing on deck while swimmers do laps are just a sampling of the new themes the Recreation Department is incorporating into its fun and wellness programs. 

“The Recreation Department has always held community-based programs,” said Kathy Nutter, membership coordinator of the Beede Center, which is under the department’s umbrella. “We are just trying to add more events that are diverse and cater to the different demographics of people who participate in our programs. We’re looking at creating more adult-only programs as well as programs for the whole family and some just for children.” 

Nutter added that the Recreation Department is working with consultants and small businesses in Concord to ensure that all demographics are represented with dignity in new and existing programming. 

First up is the adult-only “Symphony Swim,” this Friday, March 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. 

Lights will be low and candlelight will flicker in the natatorium as Concord residents Mara Bonde and Sandra Piques-Eddy perform operatic arias and other operatic solos to the accompaniment of Brian Moll on keyboard. Swimmers 18 and over will reserve lanes and do laps to live performances from 7 to 8, then recorded classical music from 8 to 9. Registration is required. This event is free for members of the Beede Center and costs $7 per hour for nonmembers. All pools will be closed to those without registrations during Symphony Swim. 

March also brings the return of the popular Shamrock Ball, when children from grades 2 through 6 and their adult caregivers get gussied up for a semi-formal dinner and a night of dancing. This year’s festivities are Saturday, March 11 at the Westford Regency, and like all the Shamrock Balls before it, sold out within minutes of registration opening up.

The Recreation Department has put a new spin on its traditional egg hunt. This year eggs will be hidden around the track and field of Emerson Playground on Friday, April 7. In addition, waterbugs will not be disappointed. 

On April 1, more than 500 bright and colorful eggs will be submerged or floating in the kiddie pool, therapy pool and lap pool at the Beede Center. “This will be a scavenger hunt in the water,” said Nutter, adding that for obvious reasons, the discovered eggs will not be candy filled. However, finders can turn their cache into Peter Rabbit, who will be visiting that day, who will offer up a confectionery prize in exchange for each egg.

Registration is required and there is a $10 fee for members and $14 fee for non-members, and the hunt runs from 4:30 to 7:30. Both egg hunts will have three waves (pun intended) so egg hunters will compete against others in their age group. age groups. Click here for a schedule 

The traditional Kite Festival is celebrated May 5 at Rideout Playground from 1 to 3 p.m. There is no charge or registration required to join the family fun and pick up tips from a professional kite flier. You may bring your own kite or learn how to construct one in the kite-making class held on site. Registration is required for this class. Rumor has it an ice cream truck may stop by. Rain date is Sunday, May 7. 

Later that day, members of the nationally award-winning Optima Synchronized Swim Team will perform a live demonstration at the Beede Center from 4 to 6 p.m. Optima Swim team members practice regularly at the Beede Center. There is no charge for this family friendly event and word on the pool deck is that some sparkly mermaids may emerge from the depths. Stay tuned for more mermaid information. 

The Recreation Department will host its annual Community Yard Sale on Saturday, May 13. This event is open to the public, and even offers tables for rent to anyone who wishes to sell usable items they no longer need. Tables are $10 each and can be reserved by contacting the Recreation Department. 

The Sixth Annual Stow Street Block Party is slated for June 3 from 12 to 2. This is family fun at its finest, Nutter said, adding the road will be blocked off. “This is open to everybody,” she said. “ We will have activities for all ages including Touch-a-Truck, music, games and more.” The DPW and Concord Fire Department will lend their vehicles once again. No registration is required and there is no rain date. 

Colors will be flying as the Beede Center hosts its first Pride Karaoke Pool Party from 5 to 7 p.m., on June 17. More details are on their way, Nutter said, but assured this community event will be free to Beede Center members and offered at a minimal cost to nonmembers,

The heat of July brings Ninja Warrior Day. Beede Center trainers and staff will help the public navigate the workout equipment set up at Rideout Field, Nutter said. “Then there will be a competition and a time-challenged event,” she added. “But we are still in the planning process.”

And the Dog Days of Summer will bring the first Doggie Dip. Residents may register their furry four-legged family members for a dip in the Emerson Pool – That’s the one near the basketball courts at Emerson Field. This canine-friendly program takes place August 26 from 4 to 6, just before the pool is closed for the season. Still in the planning stages, Nutter said the department is reaching out to partner with shelters, pet groomers and canine adoption agencies. She also warned that Doggie Dip is expected to be popular, so recommends registering your pooch sooner than later. 

Nutter added that the Recreation Department also has its summer concert schedule set. All concerts are free, run from 6 to 8, family friendly and take place at Rideout Playground. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and maybe a picnic dinner. Here is the lineup:

July 20 – Beantown Swing Orchestra 

July 27 – Reminisants

Aug. 3 – Ben Rudnick & Friends – geared toward children’s music.

Aug. 10 – The Band Brady.

Nutter said the department has yet to set a schedule for the fall, but staff is meeting regularly to widen the program and activity options to include the diverse cultural community that is Concord.