Sundays in the Park
Last week I mentioned the City of Ukiah’s Moonlight Movie Madness event every other Friday evening at the Alex R. Thomas Plaza. These family-friendly, outdoor movies are a perfect way to spend a summer evening. The next movie will be Pixar’s cartoon comedy, “Inside Out,” starting at dusk on July 15.
Along with these great movies in the plaza, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Sundays in the Park free concert series.
You might not know that Sundays in the Park is the largest and most recognized concert event in Mendocino County and is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. Since 1991, these free community concerts have entertained us with the blues, classical, country, salsa, soul, rock, swing music and much more.
The concerts are a great place to throw a blanket down on the grass, sit back and enjoy first-class summer performances at Todd Grove Park. If you get hungry, you can bring along a picnic basket or some cash to buy great food from local vendors, including sushi or barbequed tri-tip.
To help everyone have a fantastic time at the concerts, here are a few tips and rules to remember.
Parking near the concert is limited, so if you need to park nearby, come early. The park borders a residential neighborhood, so please be extra careful not to block alleys, fire hydrants, and driveways when you park. After the concert is over, when you and everyone else wants to leave, please do so respectfully: watch your speed and be mindful of pedestrians.
Also, it’s important to remember that no pets or smoking are allowed in the main event area, and only low-back chairs are allowed.
On Sunday, July 10, the concert will feature Pete Escovedo & Family. Legendary percussionist Pete Escovedo is an artist who broke down the barriers between smooth jazz, salsa, Latin jazz and contemporary music.
On July 24, come and enjoy Marcia Ball. The Texas-born, Louisiana-raised musical storyteller has earned worldwide fame. Her groove-laden New Orleans boogie, deeply soulful ballads and rollicking Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music fans all over the world.
On July 31, music legend Elvin Bishop will perform. Elvin released several well-received albums in the early 1970s before experiencing his biggest pop success, the gold record-earning national hit, “Fooled Around and Fell In Love” from his 1976 LP “Struttin’ My Stuff.”
And for the last concert of the year on August 14, local Ukiah musicians McKenna Faith and John Mattern will perform.
McKenna is a country music singer/songwriter and Nashville recording artist hailing from Ukiah. She grew up in the barrel racing circuit, where she competed in the World Finals. Singing the National Anthem at rodeos lead to half-time performances; and eventually she traded her saddle for a guitar and started co-writing and recording in Nashville, where she now lives.
After McKenna, the second set will feature Ukiah native John Mattern who will perform many selections from his newly released collection of songs, “Fire Girl,” a visitation back to his roots. This collection is a personal story-based biography of original music, telling stories of a musician’s life growing up in the vineyards of rural Northern California.
Finally, I’d like to recognize concert organizer and nationally renowned musician Spencer Brewer, who passed his duties on this year after 25 years. Since the beginning, Spencer has worked tirelessly to organize and promote this great concert series and we were extremely lucky to have him bring us these great events. Thanks, Spencer, for all you have done!
If you’d like more information about the Friday Summer Movie Madness or the Sunday Concerts in the Park, please visit the City of Ukiah website, www.cityofukiah.com/recreation/ . You will also find information about a host of other recreation programs available though the City of Ukiah.
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.
By: Chris Dewey – Chief of Police