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North Tonawanda concert series announced

NORTH TONAWANDA – This summer’s free rock concert series at Gratwick Riverside Park will include Primus, the band that came up with the theme song for the “South Park” TV show, and two others – Tea Party and Rusted Root – that have appeared at local shows organized by promoter Kathy Paradowski.

“We always look for bands that we think will draw big crowds,” she said Tuesday, the day the band lineup was formally announced with one show on a Sunday in each summer month.

Primus, an alternative San Francisco band set to play at 5 p.m. June 9, posted the news on its website last month, in spite of efforts to keep it a secret until the complete series lineup was ready: The Canadian band Tea Party will appear at 5 p.m. July 14, and the jam band Rusted Root will follow at 5 p.m. Aug. 25.

This will be the second summer of “Niagara River Rocks” concerts at Gratwick Park along the Niagara River. Sponsored by Cornerstone Federal Credit Union, details are posted at Common Council President Richard Andres said he hopes the series will continue to expand and attract thousands to visit the city, dine at its restaurants and patronize its other businesses.

“It’s a side of North Tonawanda that maybe some people haven’t seen before,” he said.

Paradowski, known for launching a concert series at Gateway Park along the canal, moved it to Lockport in 2008 after a falling-out with the previous North Tonawanda mayor.

This new arrangement has been working out so far, said Andres. He was pleased by how well last summer’s debut Buckcherry concert went, attracting a crowd estimated at 10,000.

“It was a beautiful day,” Andres said. “They had tons of people.”