GALION — Music in the Park, the annual free concert series held on Tuesday nights in June, continues their 14th season all month in Galion.
It is again sponsored by Snyder Funeral Home, Richardson Davis Chapel, with aims to encourage community spirit among neighbors and friends.
Regularly held at Heise Park’s band shell, the June 14 edition took place inside Saint Joseph Catholic Church due to excessive heat and storms.
About 100 attendees enjoyed tunes from the Crazy Gringos, a group made up of John Erlsten, a Language Arts teacher at Galion Middle School; lawyer Steve Tilson, and his son, Eric, a high school Spanish teacher; and Chris Kloth, the drummer and newest member, who came up from Columbus.
“The crowd was enthusiastic and fun was had by all, including the band,” the elder Tilson said. “When we hear what we heard — a lot of cheering and applause throughout the event — it’s super fun and energizing.”
Eric is the lead vocalist of the group, while his father handles multiple guitars, the banjo, and more.
“Music has been as important as anything in my life, other than family and practicing law,” Steve, who’s been playing music for nearly 70 years, explained. “You worry about people as lawyer and it’s hard to escape, but music can give you a break. It makes you think a lot and is very relaxing. For me, I am very fortunate to play with my son.”
Also a past president of the Galion YMCA and longtime resident, Tilson has played the Music in the Park series for many years and, though he has entertained around the country including South America, he mostly stays in the Buckeye State these days.
During a concert, he enjoys how “musicians and audiences establish a rapport with each other.”
The band’s roots go back nearly two decades. The Crazy Gringos plays anything from blues and classic rock, to Motown, jazz, and country music at festivals, restaurants, weddings, private parties and more across Ohio.
They will return for Galion’s Fourth of July celebration in a couple weeks with a pre-fireworks performance.
This coming Tuesday, on the longest day of the year, Bullit will perform at 7 p.m. Larry Lovely started and has led the band for over a half-century. They offer classic rock and roll from the 1950s today.
The 2022 season concludes June 28 at Heise Park with Randy Velez. He’s famous for impersonating famous musicians like Louie Armstrong, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, and others.