Nostalgia blossoms at Ontelaunee Park as Large Flowerheads perform ’60s faves
By ANNA GILGOFF
Special to The Press
“Alright Ontelaunee Park, I want to hear you,” said Colleen Zajacik of the Large Flowerheads, with a microphone in hand. “It’s really great to see everyone today.”
By the looks of it, the feeling was mutual.
Fans of the group gathered in clusters, stretching from the front of the band shell clear back to the pavilion.
Parking was at a premium, as folks claimed a spot on the lawn to enjoy more than three hours of familiar tunes from the 1960s.
“I can’t believe the crowd they’ve gotten,” Gail Smith said. “They have a large following, so they have people from all over the place here today.”
Smith was enjoying the music along with her husband, son and grandson, Jaxson.
“I love their music,” she said. “I’ve come here to see them before.”
The feel-good music compelled the audience to take a great big giant step back in time.
Decked out in the groovy outfits of a bygone era, the Large Flowerheads manifested the magic of the time through sight and sound.
Band members include Zajacik, Maureen Jerant, Greg Geist, Billy Trexler and Dave Follweiler.
The band has played at a variety of venues ranging from the Sellersville Theater to Musikfest.
“I like the Flowerheads,” said seventh-grader Emmalyn Fink, as she waited to order ice cream with her family. ”I like old-time music.”
As a member of Northwestern’s band front this year, the youngster probably knows a good thing when she hears it.
Excitement mounted for the family, as her mother, Melanie, ordered a chocolate flurry with Reese’s pieces.
“It’s a beautiful day to be here for the music,” she said, “And, the kids get to spend the day with their grandparents.”
The band played fan favorites such as “I’ve Got You Babe,” “Steppin’ Stone,” “Different Drummer,” “Red Rubber Ball,” “Back in the USSR” and “Cool Jerk.”
All hands went up into the air as the band broke into Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” inviting the crowd to chime in.
“This is amazing. Just so you know, the band floor is open and it’s Motown time,” Zajacik said, before breaking into “Build Me Up, Buttercup.”
That was Amanda Brown’s cue.
“Me and Cheryl (Boyer) are always about the dancing, from the minute we get here to the end,” Brown said.
“We came out for a ride and to hear some music,” her husband, Len Brown said, as he mounted his Harley. “This is the second time I’ve seen [the Flowerheads].”
Ontelaunee Park seemed to pulsate on the clear, sun-drenched day with an occasional fall breeze moderating the temperature.
Brown grew nostalgic as she remembered coming to the park as a youngster.
“I remember the playground and the pool,” she reminisced. “I used to try on Sally Starr’s clothing.”
Looking over the audience, she could only hope people were generous with their contributions as a bucket moved through the crowd.
“We could use more of this, much more.
“You can’t go wrong. You’ve got kids, you’ve got dogs, you’ve got seniors, you’ve got ice cream.
“It’s a beautiful day.”