Timeless tunes: Bristol Borough’s annual Doo Wop concert returns this weekend

dsc_0130Bristol Borough’s roots in doo-wop music run wide and deep.

From the recording of the “Bristol Stomp,” a song written in 1961 and originally recorded by the Bristol-based Terry and the Appeljacks, to today, where one of the borough’s newest business owners opened a 1960s-themed ice cream shop called Let’s Go To the Hop, Bristol Borough keeps doo-wop alive.

But that’s not where it ends. For the 11th time, Bristol Borough Council is presenting its annual Doo-Wop In the Park concert on Sept 17. The free show begins at 5 p.m. at the Mill Street Parking Lot, which runs along Bristol Lions Park on the waterfront.

The five-hour concert will include performers like Russell Thompkins Jr. & The New Stylistics, The Intruders, Cleveland Still & The Dubs, Frankie and The Fashions, and Barbara Harris & The Toys.

“This genre of music is embraced in this community,” said Anna Larrisey, co-chair for the concert. “This age group, too, we have a special connection to the era.”

She’s talking about people who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, when the genre reached its commercial peak. But that group is not limited to Bristol, and people travel from all over to see the doo-wop show.

According to Amy McIlvaine, who runs publicity for the event, 7,000 to 8,000 people are expected to attend, including people from New Jersey and Delaware.

“It’s considered the largest single-day event in Bucks County,” Larrisey added.

The logistics are simple: if you want to get a good spot, get there early. Parking is available at the Lenox Complex on the 1400 block of Radcliffe St. There is a free shuttle bus to take people to the concert and back, running 3 to 11 p.m. Concert-goers are also encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on.

There are no alcoholic beverages allowed, but there will be several food vendors and trucks available.

People are also encouraged to check out some of Bristol’s restaurants and businesses.

“That’s part of it, showing people what we have. We have a lot going on here,” Larrisey said. “We’re very proud and we have a lot to offer.”

Like the old song says, the kids in Bristol are still sharp as a pistol.

The 11th annual Doo-Wop In the Park concert will be held on Sept. 17 at the Mill Street Parking Lot adjacent to the riverfront park in Bristol Borough starting at 5 p.m. The event is free. Rain date is Sept. 18. For information, visit bristolborough.com.

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