The show must go on.
Music In The Park lives on.
When Jim and Frankie Zavinski, who founded and have coordinated the program for the last 17 years, said they intended to step aside, the hope was that someone could be found who could continue the tradition.
"Jim and I are getting a little bit older," Frankie Zavinski told Warren City Council on Monday night. "We decided it was time to try to find someone to take over. We wanted to find someone who was interested and who would do a good job and we have done that."
The new coordinator is Rod Welling.
In Welling, "We get a twofer. He's a talented musician. He performed the last two years in the park so he'll understand the musicians," Frankie Zavinski said.
"I've got some pretty big shoes to fill," Welling said. "I'm honored beyond honored to be asked to step in and take this job over. It will be a lot of fun."
He explained that, after talking with the Zavinskis, "It was our belief if we let this program slide it would never come back to the same standard it is now. I've been down there a lot of Friday nights. I think it's a great program all the way around."
Welling said there will not be any significant changes to the program heading into the 2013 season. He noted that the schedule of bands for this summer is set. He explained that a Facebook page has been set up to promote the event that includes a list of the bands. The page can be found at www.facebook.com/musicintheparkwarrenpa.
"I'm looking for a great 2013 season for Music In The Park and I appreciate this job," he added.
Council also formally recognized the efforts of the Zavinskis in making Music In The Park what it has become. Mayor Mark Phillips praised and thanked them for their effort.
"We started out 17 years ago. We thought the place was a mess. We wanted to clean it up," Frankie Zavinski said. "We got so much help from everybody in the city and the county."
She explained that it took three years to get the park cleaned up but for the least 14 summers, except for one during Streetscape construction, Friday nights at Soldiers and Sailors Park have been musical.
The first Music In The Park concert will be at 8 p.m. Friday, June 7.