Downtown Concord has seen a lot of things over the years.
There are of course events like Market Days and Halloween Howl that shut down the street, rallies at the State House and live performances.
But to our knowledge, it has never had a regulation size NBA basketball court on it – until now.
As part of the two-day Rock On Fest, put on by the Rock On Foundation, which is making a move from White Park to the State House lawn this year, there will be loads of basketball happening on Main Street.
Thanks to a little thing we like to call the permitting process, the folks at the Rock On Foundation received permission to shut down the area of Main Street between Park Street and Centre Street to set up a temporary full-court that will be put together Friday morning.
“It’s going to be incredible, setting up a basketball court on Main Street,” said Marshall Crane, president of the Frank Monahan Foundation. “It definitely adds to the cool factor. How many times do you get a full court on Main Street?”
Since basketball has been a big part of Luke and Matt Bonners life (you may have heard that Matt played 12 years in the NBA, winning two world championships, and Luke played professionally overseas. The brothers also just so happen to be from Concord, but no big deal), a hoops tournament has been part of the festivities since the beginning. So it only made sense to find a way to keep it going.
And not only is it still a part of Rock On Fest, but they have expanded upon it.
The Midsummer Classic, put on by the Frank Monahan Foundation, will remain relatively the same with the boys and girls teams from Concord High, Bishop Brady, Merrimack Valley and Pembroke Academy squaring off.
New this year is a 3-on-3 tournament with the younger groups playing on Friday and the adults on Saturday.
“We thought it would be a nice addition,” Luke said.
There will also be a unified game between Concord High and Merrimack Valley Friday night, and a matchup between Concord Police and Fire.
The 3-on-3 tournament will consist of 10-minute, halfcourt games. There will be two games going at the same time and it’s a double elimination format for the first year. So there will be plenty of action throughout.
The boys tourney starts at noon on Friday, followed by the girls at 3 p.m. The adults begin play at 10 a.m. on Saturday. And you know that everyone is just hoping to be named the first year champion.
It was the right time to introduce it with the creation of the Big 3 League and it being announced that 3-on-3 would be added as an Olympic sport for the 2020 games.
“Hopefully over time it can be a destination for a place to play 3-on-3 basketball,” Luke said.
Saturday’s Midsummer Classic brings in basketball fans from all over the area who want a sneak peek at this year’s squads.
With four teams, the format is pretty simple. There are two matchups on the boys side and two on the girls side. The winners of the two games play in the championship.
“It’s four great schools representing two different divisions of New Hampshire high school basketball,” Crane said.
Last year’s winner, Concord High boys, will play Bishop Brady at 1 p.m. Merrimack Valley and Pembroke boys play at 3 p.m, and the victors of each will square off in the boys championship at 5 p.m.
The Merrimack Valley girls play Concord at 2 p.m. with Bishop Brady and defending champ Pembroke taking the court at 4 p.m. The girls title game will cap off the tournament at 6.
“It’s bragging rights for the summer,” Crane said.
The Concord Police and Concord Fire will play a 3-on-3 game on Friday at 6:30 p.m. As you can imagine, this will be a hotly contested game with bragging rights on the line.
The unified game will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, so make sure to stick around and catch all the action.
For more, search Rock On Fest on Facebook.
“There’s going to be so much going on, and that’s the beauty of this event,” Crane said.