Summer of fun heading to Pleasanton
With graduation exercises at both Foothill and Amador Valley high schools tonight and a summer crowd of more than 2,000 expected for the Friday night Concerts in the Park, a summer of exciting activities and warmer temperatures are under way in Pleasanton. Although the popular concerts have only been rained out once, when Foothill's band was supposed to play, last Friday with its intermittent drizzle brought smaller crowds to hear the music of Magic Moments for the first concert of the season. Tonight's rock and dance music by Batch 22 should fill Lions Wayside Park, with the Houserockers next Friday and Ruckatan's Latin music June 24.
The Alameda County Fair opens June 22 with 15 days of live horse racing before the fair closes July 10. Then a three-day Independence Day holiday that includes the city's Picnic in the Park celebration July 4, featuring the Pleasanton Community Concert Band, will keep downtown Pleasanton busy. That will be followed by the always popular mid-summer First Wednesday street party July 6, which, with the fair still in town, should keep downtown restaurants and streets filled with shoppers, always a pleasing sight for merchants who are looking for an economic turnaround this summer. Domus will reopen its store in mid-July, bringing back a downtown retail attraction to help the area prosper. Another event, always sold out, is the summer Wine Stroll scheduled for Thursday, July 14.
The Friday night concerts, where the Pleasanton Weekly joins forces with the Pleasanton Downtown Association, have been a mainstay of downtown entertainment since the early 1980s when Joyce Shapiro brought the concept to Pleasanton from Chico, which started hosting outdoor performances. Held at first only in August, our concerts gained in popularity as families brought box lunches, lawn chairs and blankets to Wayside for a summer evening of fun, good music, dining and refreshments. With the PDA picking up sponsorships, the organization also benefits with food vendors now grabbing early parking spaces along First Street to take advantage of the crowds.
Bringing attention and local dollars to downtown Pleasanton is part of a push to bolster Pleasanton businesses and the community. With average attendance on good weather nights at 2,500, it's easy to see why. The audience ranges from newborns to those in their "maturing" years, from lively dancers near the stage to those in wheelchairs. People have learned to stake their spots on the grass with a blanket hours before show time, although new rules put into effect last year limits "advance spotting" to the day of the event.
In addition to this full summer of events, the PDA partnered with the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, the City of Pleasanton and the Pleasanton Weekly to launch ShopPleasanton.com to raise awareness of the value of shopping locally. This new program is designed to connect Pleasanton shoppers with local businesses. It features a directory of nearly all businesses in Pleasanton, profiles of companies, special offers and coupons, restaurant menus, photos, maps, event announcements and more. Representatives of the PDA and the Pleasanton Weekly will be on hand at tonight's concert to promote the efforts.
Here's a full list of upcoming concerts:
Tonight - Magic Moments, 50s, 60s, 70s, The Legends of Early Rock
June 10 - Batch-22, Rock/Alternative Dance Covers
June 17 - The Houserockers, Rock & Soul
June 24 - Ruckatan Latin Tribe, Latin Reggae World Music
July 1 - Rooster's Teeth, Rockin' Blues
July 8 - Georgi & The Rough Week, Blues with a Rock Flair
July 15 - The Crisis
July 22 - Dave Crimmen, 50s-60s Rock 'n' Roll, Rockabilly, Surf
July 29 - Groovy Judy, Flower Power Funk-Rock
Aug. 5 - The Cooltones, Big Band Jazz, Swing & Dance
Aug. 12 - Blind Nurse, Modern & Classic Rock
Aug. 19 - Burton & Company, Jazzy Rhythm & Blues
Aug. 26 - Hot Rods Band, Rockin' Oldies/50s & 60s
Sept. 2 - Public Eye, High Energy Rock 'n' Roll.