Green Park to host ‘Groovin’ in the Green’

Green Park to host 'Groovin' in the Green'

The city of Green Park will sponsor its first “Groovin’ in the Green,” a free concert at Officer Blake Snyder Memorial Park (formerly Clydesdale Park), Saturday, Oct. 22.

The event, featuring a free concert from the South Side Johnny Band, will start at 4 p.m. at the park, 9801 Green Park Road. The band will perform a wide variety of music, from yesterday’s classics to today’s hits. A candlelight vigil in honor of Officer Blake Snyder will be held at dusk.

In the span of a few days this week, County Executive Steve Stenger

, effective immediately. The move is to honor the fallen police officer from the Affton Southwest Precinct who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call in Green Park Oct. 6.

Planning for the inaugural Groovin’ in the Green has been in the works for over a year, South Side Johnny Band singer and Green Park resident Jon Bollwerk told city officials at the Board of Aldermen meeting Monday. But with the death of Snyder just a street over from the entrance to the park, at the request of Mayor Bob Reinagel, organizers came up with the idea to hold a candlelight vigil at the event and take donations for BackStoppers.

The event will be an annual one, according to city officials, and Bollwerk suggested that in future years it could possibly be called the Officer Blake Snyder Memorial Concert. His intention in organizing the event was to bring Green Park together for a community event.

“It’s a free concert in the park, community concert, with the idea of trying to promote the community strength and growth and camaraderie amongst everybody that lives here in Green Park,” he said. “All the other areas do it, Creve Coeur, St. Ann, Ferguson-Florissant, just about every place, but there’s never been anything like that here, this particular area. So we came up with the idea of doing it in Clydesdale Park.”

Green Park officials encourage attendees to fill their coolers and bring lawn chairs to enjoy a fun-filled fall evening of musical entertainment.

Attendees can bring their own food to the event. Bollwerk tried to recruit food trucks, but none would sign on because the county charges a 15-percent commission on their sales in any county park.

The South Side Johnny Band has collected donations at its concerts in the past few weeks, raising more than $1,000 so far, and will also collect donations at the event, Bollwerk noted. The money raised will go directly to Chief Ron Batelle, who heads the BackStoppers.

The band posted on Facebook Friday that the county nixed plans for hot air balloon rides and train rides due to concerns about attracting a large crowd to the event.

“Let’s rally and show them how respectful we are as a community, and show the support to one another so this can grow next year and maybe then they will allow the fun things,” the band posted.