Summer came to Georgetown yesterday, ushered in by a cool breeze, sizzling sun and the opening show of the fifth annual Concerts on the Canal series. The series (which will be presented every other Sunday through Sept. 13) has become a seasonal rite, drawing hundreds of music lovers and assorted sun worshipers to the yawning banks of the empty (for repairs) C&O canal.
"EEEEEE!" a tiny boy screamed as he poked himself in the face with a dripping chocolate ice cream cone. Around him swarmed masses of bicyclists, strollers and dog-walkers. Under the trees, dozens sprawled on blankets, reading their papers. Dozens more threw caution to the rays, exposing their winter-whitened limbs to the sun. There were even some conscientious souls who seemed to be watching the show.
This charming panorama of modern Americana was given a melting-pot flavor with the addition of an International Food Fair held in the nearby Foundry Mall. The fair (whose proceeds are going to child-relief charities) featured everything from baklava to paella, tamales, and a curious Lebanese confection that went great with hot dogs and beer.
The show itself was similarly international in nature. Celtic Thunder started things off with a collection of Irish jigs and reels that had many in the crowd clapping along (one fellow in jeans and a baseball cap actually danced on one of the locks). The Raquel Pena Spanish Dance Company followed with flurries of clicking heels and castanets. The Commodores Navy Jazz Band then went into action with a deft display of swing. Their rendition of the theme from the movie "Superman" was expecially well received and by the end of their show every tennis show in the crowd was tapping.
"The response this year is staggering," said series coordinator Dena Sollins. "There is a tremendous rapport between everyone here. It's really nice to go to a concert and relax and lay back," she added, surveying the multitude doing just that.