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'Sunset Serenade' one of Sea Cliff’s hidden treasures

A crowd of100 gathered at Memorial Park in

A crowd of100 gathered at Memorial Park in Sea Cliff to hear local bands perform at Sea Cliff Civic Association’s Thursday night "Sunset Serenade." (July 12, 2012) Credit: Brittany Wait

As the sun continued to sink below the horizon, Julia Friedberg, 2, danced to music pulsating from speakers next to a band playing in Sea Cliff on Thursday night.

Her mother, Anne Blanton-Friedberg, has been bringing the family to Sea Cliff Civic Association’s “Sunset Serenade” at Memorial Park for years.

“Aside from the music and the beautiful sunset, the kids get to see all their friends,” said Blanton-Friedberg, 34, of Sea Cliff. “You almost don’t want people to find out about it.”

Kris Rice, a music instructor who owns a studio in Sea Cliff, covered artists like Norah Jones, The Jackson 5 and Alanis Morissette, performing with guitarist Frank Ferrara, trumpet player Walter Bar, bass player Matthew Schneider and Dan Roth on the drums.

Petrice Kaider, a board member of the civic association, said the free event, which continues every Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. until Aug. 30, showcases local talent.

“This has been going on for 10 years,” Kaider said. “We had these type of events in Northport when I lived there, so I wanted to do more of those here. You have to either live here or work here to perform.”

Tim Ayres, who can be seen riding his bicycle up and down the streets of Sea Cliff, lives two blocks away from the park.

“It’s always a nice night out,” said Ayres, 53. “This used to be a hippy town in the '60s and '70s. People hung out here all day and played guitar and frisbee.”

Deb McDermott brought her 2-year-old son Cooper and 5-year-old daughter Aquinnah to see their music teacher in action. There is also a serenade for teens to showcase their musical talents on Aug. 9 at Memorial Park from 7 to 9 p.m.

“I’ve been coming to this since before I had kids,” said McDermott, who has lived in the village for seven years. “These guys [her children] call this the music park. When Thursday rolls around, they say, ‘It’s music park night.’”

With chairs set up and cheese, crackers and berries to munch on, Debra Dumas and her husband, Jim Arnemann, enjoyed the show, along with her visiting sister-in-law from Ireland, Peg Caverley.

“This is our first time,” Dumas said. “I like the sunset, music and being outside in the fresh air to support our local bands.”

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