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Betsy the Barge Concerts kick off 2012 season

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

MARCY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Betsy the Barge concerts returned to the Erie Canal Lock 20 in Marcy Thursday night to start the 26th annual concert series. This year's kickoff bittersweet, coming just one day after one of the concert series founders, Frank Gruenewald passed away.

"He made the programs up," says co-chairman Everett Smith. "I mean he's the one that did all the scheduling before he got laid up so everything is done and I was with him Saturday night to fix up some loose ends."

Everett Smith will continue putting the 15 scheduled bands on the stage for the 2012 season. 

All concerts are free for the public to attend.

"Him and I... what we were more concerned with more than anything else is someone gets some enjoyment out of what we were giving them," said Smith. "That means more to us than the dollars in our pocket."

Continuing on his friend's legacy, the season of shows began with Fritz's Polka Band Thursday night.

"His son said 'He'll be looking down on ya, and smiling at you hoping you did good,'"said Smith.

The concerts continue until Labor Day.

Click here to see a full concert schedule

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