As the sun began to set on Independence Day, a group of 75 residents converged in Manor Park in Larchmont to hear the seven-man band The Dixie Dandies rend their own personal blend of patriotic Americana music.
Americana music can best be described as a mixture of modern folk, country, rhythm and blues, blues, soul, and rock and roll.
Group members included drummer Alan Fennel, the band's head, and Rich Williams, a Larchmont resident who has been playing trombone for the Dandies for 28 years.
“We’re playing a lot of Dixieland favorites, patriotic tunes; everyone’s going to enjoy the show,” said Fennel just moments before the band went on.
What does July 4th mean to the Dandies? The “smiling faces and parades” that occur across the country during the Fourth, said Fennel.
“We just did a parade in Peekskill this morning,” the band leader added.
Within a half-hour, the crowd of onlookers had swelled to nearly 100.
Isabel Seldin—a 38-year New Rochelle resident who attended the concert—spent her Fourth of July weekend hanging out, barbecuing, relaxing and spending some quality time with family. When asked what the Fourth of July meant to her, she replied, “It’s Independence Day. We’re celebrating an important day in our nation’s history. It’s momentous.”
Julianna Kusbiandoro attended the performance with her son Theodore, 4. Originally from Indonesia, she is a newcomer to Larchmont, only moving there a few months ago. Kusbiandoro spent the holiday weekend picnicking in Connecticut.
“This country is great,” she said with a smile. “[It’s a] better quality of life than in my country and the people are more welcoming.”
All in attendance converged in celebration of America declaring its independence from the British and establishing itself in 1776. At the time, Thomas Jefferson was selected by a group of 56 delegates—termed the Second Continental Congress—to write the Declaration of Independence, which was approved on July 4th and later signed on August 2, 1776. Among the delegates were Jefferson himself and later President John Adams as well as President of the Second Continental Congress, John Hancock and inventor and statesman Benjamin Franklin.
Larchmont’s Manor Park is privately held and managed by the Manor Park Society. Attendees were asked not to picnic on the site the evening of the event.