Hundreds of children and adults of all ages gathered Tuesday evening at the Opelika Municipal Park to bid summer farewell at the Summer Swing: Back to School Bash.
The Back to School Bash was the closing concert of the 13-week Summer Swing concert series. Summer Swing is a 13-week concert series hosted by the Opelika Parks and Recreation Department.
Tons of laughter exploded through the park as children played on the playground, splashed around in Rocky Brook Creek and enjoyed complimentary rides from The Rocky Brook Rocket, a restored vintage train.
The aroma of freshly grilled hamburgers and hot dogs provided by The Opelika Band Boosters greeted those seated in fold-out chairs. Children and their parents were seen enjoying shaved ice provided by Kona Ice and free lemonade from Charter Bank. The main event was a performance by Route 66 at 7 p.m.
Families settled down in chairs and on blankets on the bank of the creek and listened to a wonderful show as the sun set. Charles Phipps, his wife Deedee and their two children, 17-year-old Marissa and 9-year-old Ethan, were one of many families enjoying the concert.
The Phipps family said they have been to many of the Summer Swing Concerts this summer, as well as previous summers.
“We live right around the corner love coming back," said Charles Phipps. "It is a safe place for the kids to come play, enjoy the company of other families and enjoy the fellowship."
There were also newcomers present. Jay Gravel and his wife Donna were visiting Auburn from Naples, Florida and enjoyed the Summer Swing for the first time.
“We are in town visiting and heard about the concert, and decided to come check it out. We are having a great time,” Donna Gravel said.
The Back to School Bash had a unique finale to mark the end of the Summer Swing concert series. There was a special appearance from the Public Works Charity Riders.A trail of motorcycles rode through the middle of the park and circled around the stage.
The band welcomed children to join them on stage for their final songs. Children ran to the stage and sang and danced with the band, while the riders encircled the stage with their motorcycles.