Texas Pete performs Saturday in Berwick. Photo courtesy of Envision Berwick

BERWICK — For the town of Berwick, music is the answer.

The questions: What is the best way to bring people downtown? What is a good way to encourage economic development? How best get people jazzed about your community’s future?

Music, music, music.

Envision Berwick, the community group plotting the future for the York County town that shares a border with Somersworth, New Hampshire, begins a free concert series this weekend downtown. Lawn Chairs Sullivan Square will include music from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday and again from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 24. Texas Pete will play Saturday with High and Dry. The Terrie Collins Band and Big Picture Band perform Aug. 24. Admission is free and people are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

Terrie Collins of the Terrie Collins Band. Photo courtesy of Envision Berwick

The stage will be set up near the steps of Town Hall, facing the bridge that connects Maine and New Hampshire. Sullivan Street, which runs along one side of Town Hall, will be closed to traffic. Vendors, including food trucks, the local bookmobile and community groups, will set up along Sullivan Street, offering food, art and family activities. Rochester Street, which funnels traffic over the bridge, will remain open, and police will help pedestrians cross from the concert site to Corner Point Brewing Co., a recently opened microbrewery in Berwick that includes outdoor seating.

“I think live music creates culture in real time,” said James Bellissimo, chairman of Envision Berwick and a town planner. “The whole idea is to get people used to coming downtown, bring people in so they can have a good time and see what the town has to offer.”

Texas Pete plays country and Southern rock; Terrie Collins Band, classic and modern rock.

Bellissimo hopes the series will grow to more nights with more diversity in musical styles. “We’re focused on making this year as good as it can be, but we’re already looking forward to year two. If the community receives it well, we’ll expand it and keep it going,” he said. “We might go to four (concerts) next year, and we’re very excited about the possibility of expanding to more original bands, which is why we are reaching out for sponsorships.”


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