Jon Bon Jovi and Idina Manzel Headline Central Park SummerStage Gala

On a perfect Summer Solstice evening in Central Park Jon Bon Jovi crooned “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” and just about everybody in the crowd of benefit goers joined Peter Yarrow on “Blowin’ in the Wind.”  It was all to raise funds for SummerStage – and to honor legendary rock impresdario Ron Delsener and the amazing array of music he brought to Central Park starting in the ’60s, when seats were $1 thanks to sponsor Rheingold Beer.

“They threw me out of Central Park 35 years ago; I’m back tonight,” Delsener reminisced while accepting his award. He also shared anecdotes including a backstage conversation with Ray Charles, encountering a guy dressed in plastic on Madison Avenue, and a hot-dog vendor who made off with most of the hot dogs. In an accompanying video, he walked around the park and shared memories of the night George Harrison showed up when Tina Turner was playing, Led Zeppelin agreeing to play for almost nothing, the crowds that came out for Simon & Garfunkel, Elton John’s costume changes, and building a stage on Sheep Meadow for Barbra Streisand in 1967.

While New York’s parks department takes care of physical maintenance, the City Parks Foundation focuses on programming. In addition to concerts, the charity brings the parks recreational programs like tennis or track and field.

Delsener himself assembled the line-up for a concert that followed the family-style dinner set up on the grounds of SummerStage. Paul Shaffer was the band leader, saxophonist David Sanborn joined for two tunes, and Idina Menzel sang Radiohead’s “Creep” after telling the crowd how Delsener discovered her, and made a “Long Island Jewish girl’s dreams come true.”

Father Guido Sarducci, an ’80s fixture of “Saturday Night Live,” provided a comic interlude by introducing his invention — small food plates designed to rest on one’s shoulder, which he demonstrated over his robes. One possible use at a party, he said: a place to rest the appetizer you took a bite of and didn’t like, warning others not to try it.

SummerStage Gala 2016

City Parks Foundation Gala Concert & Dinner June 20 @ 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm

A NOT TO BE MISSED GALA CONCERT & DINNER HONORING LEGENDARY CONCERT PROMOTER RON DELSENER

Performances by Jon Bon Jovi, Idina Menzel, David Sanborn, Father Guido Sarducci (Don Novello), Paul Shaffer and the Park Rangers and other surprise guests

MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2016 Under the stars at SummerStage Central Park 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue

Cocktails at 6:30 pm Dinner & Concert Performance at 7:30 pm Cocktail Party Attire Rain or Shine (Tented Venue) Please RSVP by Friday, June 3, 2016

View full invitation here. RSVP here.

For further information, please contact Bryant Bradshaw at 212.360.8170 or Events@CityParksFoundation.org.

Star Sapphire Package – $50,000 Includes VIP premiere seating for ten (10) for dinner and concert; VIP Backstage Passes with access to Artists Lounge; Verbal recognition from the performance stage; On-screen recognition during dinner.

Diamond Package – $25,000 Includes premiere seating for ten (10) for dinner and concert; VIP Backstage Passes with access to Artists Lounge; On-screen recognition during dinner.

Platinum Package – $15,000 Includes priority seating for ten (10) for dinner and concert;On-screen recognition during dinner.

Gold Package – $10,000 Includes seating for four (4) at a shared table for dinner and concert; VIP Backstage Passes with access to Artists Lounge; On-screen recognition during dinner.

Silver Ticket Package – $3,000 Includes seating for two (2) for dinner and concert.

Individual Ticket – $1,500 Includes seating for one (1) for dinner and concert.

On-screen Journal – . . . → Read More: SummerStage Gala 2016

Hallett Nature Reserve Opens to the Public

Southwest_corner_of_Central_Park,_looking_east,_NYC

Hallett Nature Reserve Opens to the Public . . . → Read More: Hallett Nature Reserve Opens to the Public

Hidden Gardens – The Top Ten Spring Flower Spots in Central Park

Magnolia Blossoms

While Central Park offers a tranquil respite all year round from the surrounding cacophony of urban life, it is during the springtime that the park really sparkles. . . . → Read More: Hidden Gardens – The Top Ten Spring Flower Spots in Central Park

Central Park – Conservatory Garden Blooms

Central Park’s Conservatory Garden is in full bloom this weekend – perfect time to enjoy the beautiful weather and take a scroll around Central Park’s only formal garden. . . . → Read More: Central Park – Conservatory Garden Blooms