Village People, Guess Who to play Palmetto Fourth of July Festival

mclear@bradenton.comFebruary 12, 2013 

PALMETTO -- The most iconic musical figures from the golden age of disco are coming to town to celebrate Independence Day.

The Village People, now in their 36th year of celebrating the glitzy, campy lifestyle of the late 1970s, are headlining this year's Fourth of July Celebration in Sutton Park.

They'll be joined by the Guess Who, the Canadian rockers who steadily inhabited the charts and the airwaves in the 1960s and '70s with such hits as "No Sugar Tonight" and "American Woman."

The festivities, which include offerings from local vendors and which culminate in a fireworks display, get under way at 5 p.m.

Admission is free, so no one's really sure how many people show up for the annual celebration.

"I've seen estimates from 7,000 or 8,000 up to 10,000," said Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant. "It's hard to guesstimate because so many people come and go. Some people set up lawn chairs and stay all day, but others get up and walk down by the water and come back."

This is the third year the celebration has signed big-name acts. Three Dog Night headlined last year, and Eddie Money topped the bill in 2011.

The Village People still feature several of the original members -- including Felipe Rose (the Native

American chief), Alex Briley (the soldier) and David "Scar" Hodo (the construction worker) -- who performed on the group's massive hits "YMCA" and "Macho Man."

The best-known members of the Guess Who, singer Burton Cummings and guitarist Randy Bachman, left the group long ago. Only drummer Jim Kale and bassist Garry Peterson remain from the original lineup.

"I'm very excited about both of these bands," Bryant said. "We've been very successful with Three Dog Night and Eddie Money, and I think we'll be even more successful with the Village People and the Guess Who."

Information: 941-723-4988.

Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-748-0411 ext. 7919. Follow Twitter.com/martinclear.

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