Yesterday the folksy blend of George Bedard and the Kingpins wafted over the parking structure as a small mass of people gathered on the dance floor. Together they shared one last dance, one last band, one last night at Ann Arbor’s Summer Festival’s Top of the Park.
Ann Arbor resident John Kosmet said Top of the Park has become a tradition for him and his daughter.
“(I came for) the great entertainment of George Bedard and the Kingpins. They are my favorite band. My best experience at Top of the Park all summer is right now,” he said.
The only part of it that he would change he said is the length of time that it runs, “I wish it lasted longer,” Kosmet said.
Chelsea High School senior Katie Widmayer said that Top of the Park has become a tradition for her.
“I come here every year. I love the music, I love the environment, just being here with everyone and listening to live music on a parking structure,” she said.
Steve Guttman, who has been the Top of the Park manager for four years, said although this year has gone smoothly there have been some negative elements.
“The only thing that is negative (this year) is parents are letting their kids down here younger and younger. I feel more like a hall monitor than an organizer. There is not so much of a college student presence anymore. They feel like they are hanging out with younger kids,” Guttman said.
He said with the ending of Top of the Park, the biggest thought going through his head right now is that summer is finally here.
“We go from the end of school things (with my kids) straight to Top of the Park, there is no time to relax and enjoy the summer,” Guttman added.
Aaron Savit , an alum of Washtenaw Community College and Top of the Park first-year employee, said that he has enjoyed his working experience at Top of the Park.
“This is my first year. It’s a nice festival. It’s probably not the highest paid job in the world, but I sit here for six hours and tell people not to sit on the walls. And I get to listen to music and if they don’t stick me here (he gestured to the ramp that sits to the opposite side of the stage) I sometimes I get to watch the movie,” Savit said.
He added the working environment of Top of the Park was similar to that of a summer camp.
“The staff is really informal. The bosses pick on the workers and the workers make fun of the bosses. There are people who have been here for a long time who have a rapport,” Savit said.
With the end of Top of the Park he said he is going to work at two other jobs.
But he admits that he will “miss not being able to come to the festival.” Still he said “it’ll be nice to have free time in the evening.”
Daniel Shoaf a junior at Chelsea High School, said without Top of the Park his evenings look grim. He said that without it he is probably going to be left to watch movies alone at home.