CASA GRANDE — Temperatures were still hovering near 100 degrees Friday evening but that didn’t stop a close group of friends from dancing the night away in the Neon Sign Park, listening to the sounds of the City Nights Band.

May Openshaw, Nancy Moore, Mary Kirpes, Vi Benedict and Thuthi Kohls were among those who turned out for the city of Casa Grande’s first Concert in the Park of the season and the group of women who originally met in a line dancing class years ago said they weren’t disappointed.

“We love to dance,” Moore said. “And it’s nice being out here and having a good time.”

Each of the women in the close group of friends is 65 or older. They dance together several times a week, either in a Zumba class, line dancing event or music venue.

“We dance whenever we get the chance,” Moore said.

The concert in the park gave them the perfect opportunity to put on their dancing shoes. They danced throughout most of the hour-and-a-half-long show and at times, led several attendees through line dancing routines.

“It’s something different to do and it’s a beautiful night,” Kohls said.

The Friday night concert was the first to be held in the Neon Sign Park. It coincided with Casa Grande Main Street’s Downtown After Dark event and several area merchants stayed open late, attracting late-evening shoppers.

Phoenix-based City Nights Band calls itself a variety dance band that plays music from Bruno Mars to The Beatles and Michael Jackson to Journey.

Moore said the music was the perfect choice for a night of dancing.

“We’re having so much fun,” she said.

The city plans other concerts in October and November.

Mariachi Passion and folklorico performances are set for Oct. 8. On Nov. 12, Southbound will perform.

Openshaw said that while she had a good time, she has a few suggestions for future concerts.

“We’re starving,” she said. “It would be great if the city had some food vendors out here. But we’re still having fun.”

Casa Grande’s Concert in the Park events are free to attend.


Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at