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Cultural Events

Panacea & Friends To Perform 2019 Newtown Reunion, Labor Day Weekend



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In the months following 12/14, a group of Newtown residents organized The 2013 Great Newtown Reunion, a Day of Healing. They asked popular 70s Newtown rock band, Panacea, to close out the show.

Honored by the request, band members came from across the country to play for their fellow Newtowners in the hopes of raising spirits as well as healing their own hearts. Panacea members — Corky Ballard, Leslie Ballard, Rick Kuhn, Jon Dodson, and Bruce Tibbitts — were so moved that they have not only performed that show, but have continued hosting informal Newtown reunions annually in the town park on Labor Day weekend, playing a free concert/dance along with other Newtown musicians since 2014.

Panacea will host its annual town reunion at Dickinson Memorial Park, 50 Elm Drive, on Sunday, September 1, rain or shine.

It is an all-Newtown lineup: Emanuel Pavone will kick off the music at 2 pm, followed by the Willie-Portera Trio at 3 pm, and Panacea will take the stage at 4 pm. Joining Panacea are guest musicians Christian Martirano playing keyboards, guitarist Jim Lynch, Matt Spencer on percussion, and Dave Savitsky on saxophone.

Admission is free, and all are welcome. Bring chairs, blankets, and picnics, or grab a grill. Wear dancing shoes — crowds in previous years have enjoyed plenty of dancing.

Big screen monitors will show videos, including a Newtown Class of 1969 reunion slideshow.

Guitarist Richard Tibbitts will perform a special dedication to his late father, Bruce Tibbitts, popular Newtown guitarist who had played with Panacea in all of the reunions who sadly passed away last year following the 2018 reunion.

Newtown High School class reunions are welcome to reserve tables or set up their own tents. Message the band at Panacea Newtown on Facebook for assistance.

There will be donation boxes for Newtown’s FAITH Food Pantry for nonperishable items. The pantry made a special request for coffee (no baby food needed).

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