Various groups perform at the annual Gospel Explosion in Long...

Various groups perform at the annual Gospel Explosion in Long Beach. The free, all-day event is hosted by the Evangel Revival Community Church in Long Beach and the City of Long Beach. (no date) Credit: None

The sound of music floating through the air on a summer evening can be so sweet, especially if you haven't been charged a single penny for the privilege of listening. Here are three spots to go for free outdoor entertainment this weekend.

1. Eisenhower Park's International Music Night series

WHEN | WHERE 7:30 p.m. Friday (African American Night), Saturday (Caribbean American Night) and Sunday (Indian American Night), Eisenhower Park, East Meadow

THE SETTING Groups performing in the amphitheater, folks sitting on the grassy hill singing, impromptu dancing

THE SOUND From traditional to contemporary, but all encompassing the culture of the particular ethnic theme that evening. "Each concert is individual, because each organizing committee sets the agenda," says Nassau County spokesman David Ring.

At Friday night's African-American night, for example, the program will be a retrospective that begins with African drummers and dancers and segues to jazz, hip-hop, Motown and R&B, says co-chair Joysetta Pearse of Freeport.

THE VIBE Festive, family-friendly affair. Picnicking welcome and the concessions offer basic fare, such as burgers, hot dogs and ice cream

SEATING Bring your own

INFO 516-572-0355 (weather hotline),


2. Northport's 'Happenings on Main Street'

WHEN | WHERE Friday night at 7 (weather permitting), Northport Village Park. Continues Fridays through Labor Day.

THE SETTING With the view of the harbor and the sunset as a backdrop, enjoy music alfresco. Downtown shopping, dining and snacks are just around the corner. "You're a stone's throw away from downtown," says Lauren Paige, director of community affairs for the Northport Arts Coalition. "You can even sit at the outside seating of some restaurants and hear the music."

THE SOUND Folk, rock, country, Celtic and blues; original songs and folk and rock tributes to artists such as Elvis Presley and The Beatles. "We want to give local artists a chance to perform," says series co-producer Fred Richtberg, of Northport. Tonight's concert features folk-rock musicians Annie Mark and Chris James.

THE VIBE Family-friendly. "Some people even bring their dogs on leash to the event," Paige adds.

SEATING Limited, so bring your own

INFO 631-757-3456,


3. Long Beach's Gospel Explosion 2011

WHEN | WHERE 1-8 p.m. Saturday, Kennedy Plaza, 1 W. Chester St., Long Beach

THE SETTING More than 15 gospel choirs and other performers are expected to perform on a raised stage in the large, grassy, tree-lined area near city hall. A separate Kiddie Corner will have face-painting and other activities for kids. Vendors will sell food and merchandise.

THE SOUND Gospel and inspirational music in its many incarnations -- plus praise dancing, gospel rap and poetry. "We want to have folks come together and give praise to God," says Sylvia Usher, the annual event's co-coordinator and member of Long Beach's Evangel Revival Community Church. "We're coming out of the church setting to get more people to come and lift up the name of Jesus."

THE VIBE Family-friendly religious event

SEATING Some table seating, bring chairs

INFO 516-432-1527

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