The villages entertainment town squares

The villages entertainment town squares DEFAULT

The Villages shuts down its entertainment scene


The Villages, with its large population of older people, is taking seriously the state&#;s advice against gathering in crowds.

The sprawling retirement community in Central Florida has largely shut down its thriving entertainment scene to counter the spread of the coronavirus.

Citing recommendations from the governor and health officials, The Villages has canceled evening events on the town squares indefinitely. It has temporarily closed the Barnstorm Theatre and the Old Mill Playhouse.

The Villages also has canceled the Saturday farmers markets in the Brownwood neighborhood and other local events, including polo matches.

It has canceled upcoming government meetings, the Irish American Parade on St. Patrick&#;s Day, an outdoor concert planned for March 18, and its indoor events at recreation centers.

The Village&#;s premier theater, The Sharon, had already canceled a show by country music star Trisha Yearwood and next week&#;s performance by Paul Anka.


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Tags: coronavirus, the villages
Posted in Central Florida News, HealthSours: https://www.wmfe.org/the-villages-shuts-down-its-entertainment-scene/

Still silent village town squares as live music thrives in Fenney

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Bringing the squares to life

Brownwood Square. Photo by Nicole Hamel

The live entertainment in The Villages town squares every night is a big draw, but the people on the stage enjoy it as much as Villagers do.

 

An evening spent on any town square in The Villages includes live music, dancing (if you’re so inclined), and visiting with friends and neighbors. Most everyone enjoys the casual atmosphere, drinks and snacks, and entertainment.

But what about the view the band or entertainer has of the crowd? Maybe it’s like a mini concert every night or it could be more like an evening with friends. Whichever it is, one thing’s for sure—they keep coming back to the bandstands in Spanish Springs Town Square, Lake Sumter Landing Town Square, and Brownwood Paddock Square to perform.

 

Rocky and The Rollers

This group doesn’t play only in The Villages town squares, it also performs big shows at the Savannah Center and hosts its own cruises. The band, which has a combined 40 years of experience, has performed with Dick Clark and a host of great artists from the ‘50s to the ‘70s—Chuck Berry, Peter Noone, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Fabian, just to drop a few names.

The talented musicians making up the band are Gerry “Rocky” Seader, who plays drums and does vocals; Bruce Wallace, who also does vocals and plays guitar; Al Layton, another vocalist who plays keyboard; Jimmy Miller, the bass guitarist and vocalist; Bruce Nardi, a vocalist who plays the saxophone; Al Morse does vocals; Steve Falkner plays the trumpet; and Rick Abbott is on the trombone.

“We’ve been playing The Villages for 20 years,” Rocky says. “It’s like no other venue we play anywhere in the world. We travel around the country, and The Villages is almost a step above.”

Two of the band members are Florida natives. Al Layton is originally from Hollywood and Al Morse is from Sanford.

Photo: Anthony Rao

Being from Philadelphia, Rocky has played drums since he was 10 years old. He was a drummer for Danny and The Juniors and that led to touring with many of the greats from the ‘50s and ‘60s. He met Jon “Bowzer” Bauman of Sha Na Na in the s and they became great friends and still enjoy working together.

“[Rocky and The Rollers] play the town squares around three times a month and Katie Belle’s one or two times,” Rocky says. “We probably do seven or eight shows a month in The Villages.”

The group is considered a big band because of the added horns. The musicians love it when they play the familiar tunes for Villages residents and the audience sings along. “It feels warm and successful when that is happening,” Rocky says.

He says the band also knows it has to change its music with the times. “We no longer play as many songs from the ‘50s. The baby boomers like songs from the late ‘60s and ‘70s,” Rocky says. “Thousands comes to see us at the squares because we’re consistent. Some of the visiting artists who know us will come to the squares and come up and sing with us.”

Rocky says he and his wife, Nikki Perry, love living in The Villages. Their home is in Sumter County. “We both like to work and play in The Villages.”

You’ll find a complete list of the band’s tours and events at rockyandtherollers.com. The band’s next big show is “Rocky and The Rollers present The Elegants, The Capris, and Jay Siegel’s Tokens” at the Savannah Center on Oct.

“One of the saddest things for me is the friends I’ve made in the 20 years at The Villages that are not here anymore,” Rocky says. “The shows and cruises we do are just for The Villages to enjoy. It’s how we give back for their support for so long.”

 

Scooter the DJ

“I came to The Villages for a private party in the late ‘90’s at a park near Lake Miona. I had done a wedding in Orlando for a girl who’d moved up to The Villages. There was a lady from The Villages Entertainment at the party,” Scooter the DJ says. “I started playing Spanish Springs in the early s. I originally had a “bad visual” of The Villages. I pictured more of an assisted-living place and was reluctant to come here! I think my original words were ‘I don’t want to go play some Sinatra Fest!’”

Scooter soon learned his idea of The Villages couldn’t have been more wrong. “The first time I played The Villages, I loved it. I saw three generations of people on the square having a blast. I immediately wanted to get them all up dancing together with songs that bridge time,” he says. “When you see the pictures of the dance floor with grandparents/parents/kids all dancing together, it’s really special.”

Scooter became a DJ while in college through an accident—when his fraternity had a party, he was the only one with a collection of 45 rpm records. He learned how to use a mixer and turntables at a local music store and was greatly relieved when the party was over. However, that night changed his life.

“The phone started ringing off the hook,” Scooter says. “Every sorority, fraternity, and club wanted me to DJ their events, and it snowballed from there.”

Scooter’s “trademark” is audience participation. He has a selection of songs he plays at every performance, and the audience yells at him to play them. They include the “Burger Dance” and “Pizza Dance” along with the Cha Cha Slide, Wobble, Cupid Shuffle, YMCA, Car Wash, and others. You can see a photo gallery of his performances at scooterthedj.com.

He adds that playing in The Villages gives him the freedom he loves. “The Villages allows me to be ME. I do my show as I like,” he says. “I can be the real Scooter the DJ. When I do private events, the show is for the client, and I have to adapt to their wishes.”

What does he like best about performing at the town squares? “I like the atmosphere. Each square is different. Spanish Springs has a different crowd than Brownwood, but both crowds are a BLAST! Sumter Landing is great because it’s so big,” Scooter says. “When you see that many people dancing, it really is amazing. It’s also free to come there. You can’t beat free!”

Though he travels all over the country doing a variety of events, he’s always happy to come “home” to The Villages. “I’ve played almost 30 years at major theme parks in Orlando and done corporate events to weddings, that’s what I do. It’s always great to come back to The Villages. These ‘seniors’ are a blast!”

 

Photo: Nicole Hamel

Second Slice

Leaders in a worship team, Second Slice members began their musical careers as a group of friends playing together at Center Point Church. Doug Gulick plays drums and percussion and does backing vocals. Mark Seymour is the lead vocalist and plays keyboard. Shawn Palmer is the band’s guitarist and does backing vocals while Donnie Helms plays bass guitar.

Doug says it took two years of emails with The Villages Entertainment Department for the band to get a chance to play. The musicians proved themselves well and have been playing in The Villages for five years now. “The Villages hold a high standard,” Doug says, “as they should, of bringing quality live entertainment to their residents.”

However, the band has now branched out to other areas of Lake and Sumter counties and enjoys a busy and productive schedule.

“Each square definitely has its own uniqueness as to the stage position and shape and the differing themes of each one,” Doug says. “The specialness is attributed to our faithful fans who come to see us rain or shine, no matter which venue we are performing.”

The music of Second Slice features a wide variety with songs from the ‘50s to the ‘80s and ‘90s. “We play songs through the classic rock era right up to the most current and popular music you hear today,” Doug says. “Slow- or fast-paced, our music is danceable and energized.”

You can see a full list of the musicians repertoire of songs on their website at second-slice.com. They stay busy and enjoy every minute of the musical work.

“The Villages residents are some of the finest people you will meet anywhere. We have truly developed great friendships with several of them,” Doug says. “They are really good people that have worked hard all their lives and have set themselves up for a full, fun-filled, and exciting retirement. They love music and show their appreciation to us for what we do. That makes all the difference, and for that, we are blessed.”

He said the band has a deep appreciation for The Villages Entertainment Department and the people who work there. “They selected Second Slice as one of their many musical groups…and they took good care of us,” he says. “It is one of the most sought-after places to perform in the Central Florida area, after all.”

The view from the stages mirrors the love and appreciation of music that comes from the chairs and bleachers in the town squares, and, don’t worry, there’s entertainment tonight!

About the Author

Leigh Neely began her writing career with a weekly newspaper in the Florida panhandle, where she not only did the writing, but delivered the papers to the post office and dispensers. She has been writing ever since for a variety of newspapers and magazines from New Jersey to Leesburg. With her writing partner, Jan Powell, Leigh has published two novels as Neely Powell.
View all posts by Leigh Neely →
Sours: https://www.lakeandsumterstyle.com/bringing-the-squares-to-life/
Paddock Square Brownwood The Villages

Entertainment on squares 'currently' free

 
BY CHRISTINE GIORDANOTHE REPORTER

Thursday

Jan 25,  at  AM



THE VILLAGES - For years, entertainment on the squares in The Villages has been free to the public. Live bands play every evening of the year, and the squares in Lake Sumter Landing and Spanish Springs have been open to everyone.
But there seem to be no guarantees that it will stay free.
When speaking to a group of new residents in The Villages, District Manager Pete Wahl selectively used the word "currently" when referring to the fact that entertainment is free in the town squares.
He was answering a resident who asked, "Who pays for the entertainment on the square?"
Wahl said, "Currently, that entertainment is provided by The Villages Entertainment department."
When asked afterward why he used the word "currently," Wahl said, "I know today. I can't tell you what's going to happen tomorrow."
Technically, Sumter Landing District owns the Market Square, and the Village Center District owns the Town Square in Spanish Springs. They are then leased to The Villages of Lake Sumter Inc., a holding company of The Villages developer, which then pays for and provides all the entertainment.
The entertainment is not paid for by residents' amenity fees, Wahl said.
Although the entertainment is a chief selling point for houses in The Villages, residents could have little say if the retirement community begins charging entertainment fees as part of amenity fees.
The developer offered residents north of Country Road an opportunity to weigh in on amenity decisions, but a board decision by Community Development District 1 could dissolve the option. Earlier this month, CDD 1 decided not to place a representative on the resident amenity board. Because all districts must be represented, the board could dissolve before it is even created.
The amenity decisions are currently made by commercial-based landowners in The Villages, and the developer continues to sell portions of the commercial district to foreign stakeholders. In the fall of , Rolling Acres Plaza sold for $40 million to TMW Weltfonds Rolling Acres Plaza LP, an affiliate of Atlanta's Prudential Real Estate Investors based in Germany. The newly built plaza had been open for less than a year before the sale.
On Monday's rainy evening, a group of self-proclaimed "diehard square lovers" gathered at the bandstand in Market Square.
Ann Moschera and Rocco, Carmine, Daisy and Rita Ferraro said the free entertainment was part of the reason they bought homes in The Villages.
"It's the square that does it," Rocco Ferraro said.
When asked his opinion about whether residents should begin paying for entertainment at the square, he said, "The (amenity fees) are high enough right now. Why would they even think of that?"
Moschera expressed concern about square entertainment that would be paid for by Villages residents, yet used by non-Villagers as well.
"What about the outsiders coming free?" she said. "It wouldn't be fair if we had to pay for it and the outsiders came to enjoy it."
If residents had to pay for entertainment, it could be costly. Karen Hall, a popular entertainer on Market Square, charges $ for three hours, according to her manager. As she sang in the rain at the bandstand, not an empty parking space could be found. A couple began dancing under an umbrella.
Gary Lester, chief spokesperson for The Villages developer, did not respond to a request for a comment on whether entertainment will remain free in the town squares.
The house sales kit for The Villages continues to advertise "free entertainment every night of the year."
Contact Christine Giordano at , or [email protected]

Sours: https://www.ocala.com/article//news/

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6 hours ago Parady's Tribute to Veterans event is in honor of those who have served for our country. With a ride around Brownwood Paddock Square by The Villages Nomads to honor Honor Flight Veterans, live entertainment from Scooter the DJ, performances from The Villages Twirlers & Drum Corps and the Villages Cheerleaders, market and food vendors, a 50/50 chance drawing to benefit Honor Flight, and …

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Best Entertainment in the villages?

Town Square Entertainment. Entertainment for The Villages town squares: Brownwood Paddock Square, Spanish Springs, and Lake Sumter Landing feature live entertainment every night of the year!

Is there a event in the villages?

No event found! See the latest updates regarding Health & Saftey. We’re undergoing big updates at the box office! See what events we have coming up next! Read More… From FREE nightly entertainment at any of our Town Squares to Broadway shows at our state-of-the-art Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center.

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Cruise on down to Spanish Springs for The Villages Entertainment, monthly car show. Residents and non-residents alike are welcome to register their classic car with a model 30 years or older. Featuring the Mechanical Minds Car Club, along with entertainment from Cactus Jack & The Cadillacs on the main stage

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The Art & Craft Festival at Brownwood continues to grow and highlight the talents of many unique crafters, providing the area with one of its most enjoyable spring traditions. Cruise on down to Spanish Springs for The Villages Entertainment, monthly car show.

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Paddock Square Brownwood The Villages

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