Zara Bode’s Little Big Band
Courtesy photo
Zara Bode’s Little Big Band

Zara Bode’s Little Big Band helps Guilford celebrate its new park

GUILFORD — Sunday, Sept. 24, marks the coming together of two local phenomena: the grand opening of the Guilford Community Park and Zara Bode's Little Big Band, playing for the grand opening. Both will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Pavilion of Guilford Community Park, 24 Church Drive. Event participants are invited to bring a picnic and dancing shoes.

The park's concept grew out of a committee exploring ways to use the adjacent property acquired by the Guilford Community Church. The committee considered constructing a timber frame pavilion and, as committee member Peter Amidon said, "Then we thought, 'Why not just create a whole new public park for Guilford?'"

The Guilford Community Park Committee, independent from the Guilford Community Church, formed, and two years after their first musings, they - with the help of generous donations from 200 area residents, a few generous out-of-town donors, and some significant grant money - shepherded in the construction of a 24-foot-by-48-foot timber frame pavilion and a seven-circuit walking labyrinth.

The park also includes a grassy play area, a children's play area, and a stone fire pit surrounded by benches. It will soon include a paved basketball court.

In addition to the band performance, the event will feature comments by folks involved in the creation of the Park.

Bode's group performs classic American swing, inspired by the likes of Duke Ellington, Django Reinhardt, and Ella Fitzgerald. Lead vocalist Bode also performs with Signature Sounds artists The Sweetback Sisters. The Little Big Band features a horn section led by clarinetist and arranger Anna Patton and is anchored by Stefan Amidon on percussion.

For more information about the park, visit

This The Arts item was submitted to The Commons.

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