Music has played an important role in the history of Palmer Park. A band stand was built in 1923 and every summer a series of concerts was held in the park featuring military bands, marching bands, and bands representing diverse groups. The Works Progress Administration’s federal music project, local dairy farms, and police organizations all at times featured bands performing in the park. The bandstand was torn down in 1946 after years of neglect during World War II.
Carroltonian John Paul Bordes remembered the concerts in his 1978 Carrollton Columns collection: “Who could forget the band-stand in the park, where every Thursday night a band played and kids came to sit on the grass and listen, or play games and eat candy and ice cream, or just walk around and flirt with each other! Friends from all over Carrollton came. It was real good fun” (1978, 48). It should be noted that only white families were allowed to attend the concerts.
Music did continue to be part of the park during celebrations like the annual Memorial Day commemorations in the years after World War II. Concerts were brought back to the park in the early 1970’s with free shows sponsored by the New Orleans Recreation department and featuring performances from local groups like high school and college bands, the Mardi Gras Chorus, the In His Name Singers, and the Storyville Jazz Band. In recent years, bands have performed in the park as part of the monthly Arts Market, held the last Saturday of each month, as well as an annual concert by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.