Saline Enjoys Conversation & Funk Soundtrack

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Hundreds of hungry Salinians filled Umbrella Square for the fourth edition of Saline Main Street’s summer concert series. Salty Summer Sounds was provided music by the Ann Arbor-based improvisational focused funk rock group Pajamas.

“They just put on a great event here,” Drummer Graham Low said. “We just like the community. … My favorite part [of the night] is just seeing the people that make this little stretch great.”

Pajams performing at Salty Summer Sounds, July 1.

The concert series brings live bands like Pajamas to the closed off section of Ann Arbor Street – between Henry Street and Grand River Avenue – every Thursday. Every time a table opened another group of patrons seemed to come to fill it.

“It’s a really good turnout. There’s a lot of people here from in town that I don’t get to see all the time which is really nice. I just saw someone I haven’t seen in fifteen years, who lives in Saline and I had no idea, so I’m having fun,” Saline Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee member Kerstin Woodside said, while waiting for her dinner to arrive.

About half of the de facto town square is set up to face the band, while the other half is set up with picnic tables to accommodate the restaurants, as the whole point of the series is to ensure they survive. It is working so well in the opinion of Brecon Grill owner Geragosin that the Umbrella Square “is a huge positive” for the downtown.

Paul Geragosin, standing in front of his restaurant, Thursday.

“Sometimes positives come out of negatives. And even with Covid happening, as a negative, this Umbrella Square as a downtown gathering space, is a huge benefit in my opinion; not just for my business, but for all of the businesses that are benefiting from it in this district. I personally feel that from last summer, and even this summer, businesses probably would not be surviving if it wasn’t for the street and the benefits the music brings to this space,” Geragosin said.

Briarwood's Ford Explorer, in the middle of Umbrella Square.

Another draw to downtown is to see what new model of car that Briarwood Ford will bring to the event. They’re sponsoring the event partially to bring business to their dealership. Sales Representative David Collard was there to show people around the new Ford Explorer. Next week, Collard said, they will be bringing a new model Mustang for people to look inside of.

Briarwood's Ford Explorer, in the middle of Umbrella Square.
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