Toe-tapping tunes invite neighbors to parks

See why one of the best places to hear music is
in a park this summer …

Sitting on the grass, down by the river, more than 1,000 gathered for the swinging sounds of Stolen Sweets.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
With a light, cooling breeze blowing in off the Willamette River, more than 1,000 folks came out for the opening of the concert season at Sellwood Riverfront Park on July 10.

This program featured Stolen Sweets, ’30’s swing jazz band from Portland who have just released a new CD.

Many food vendors were at the concerts. Making hot, fresh kettle corn at the concert is Caroline Barron; sampling her wares are Dan McCarthy and his son Rydan.

The smell of fresh kettle corn filled the air, vendors provided beverages and snacks. But many just brought their picnic baskets loaded with their favorite outdoor treats.

“Having a concert in your neighborhood helps all of us feel connect with our neighborhood,” explained Kristin Knapp, Summer Concerts coordinator, Portland Parks & Recreation. “Music connects people. And these concerts help us ‘claim’ our parks for ourselves and our families, and allow us to be proud of our neighborhood.”

Just one of the groups having family fun at Sellwood Riverfront Park, flanked by Sydney and Paige, is Rachel Schubert with Willis and David Schubert; friends Andy Fisher and Madison joined them for the concert.

From a practical standpoint, the music programs help improve park safety, Knapp said. “When we have events here, it helps people not feel afraid to come to the park. The park is a safe place to go. When we create good events in the park, it chases out the undesirable activities.”

The concerts, every Monday evening in July, were presented by Portland Parks and Recreation, SMILE, and several local businesses.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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