The Liberty Lake summer concert series eased off the ground last weekend with a crowd of about 350 people, a performer who bathed his audience in hand-clapping, hip-waggling fun and a sunny day actually worthy of the name summer.
“This is just wonderful,” said Tamara Adams, a newcomer to Liberty Lake, reclining in a stars-and-stripes bikini and listening to singer Norman Foote.
“I couldn’t believe this actually existed,” said Gloria Riedlinger, a pink-hatted visitor to Spokane who brought her grandson along.
The Summertime Music Festival at Liberty Lake is a throwback to - pick your era - free folk concerts in the ‘60s or free band concerts in the 1890s.
Families with small children scattered themselves on blankets across the gentle amphitheater at Pavillion Park. Ninety-year-old Jim Brumm sat in the shade; 10-week-old Jason Dean, a diaper-clad redhead, reclined in his father’s arms.
Organizer Jim Frank said an amphitheater was one of the top requests from a neighborhood survey before Pavillion Park was designed.
Events such as these concerts are a key way to knit a community together, Frank said.
“You meet your neighbors, you talk with people,” Frank said. Still, the small crowd spelled a combination of relief and disappointment.
“I have to be honest, I’d like to see twice as many or three times as many people there. But for our first time, I was satisfied,” Frank said. The low numbers made for an absence of parking problems and gave organizers a smooth run-through on other logistical details.
Other concerts this summer, all better known names to Spokane, are expected to draw considerably larger crowds.
Overflow parking is arranged for larger crowds. This year, that parking will be in vacant lots.
In future years, overflow parking will be in a planned STA parking lot by Albertsons and at the Liberty Lake Elementary School, now under construction.
The Friends of Pavillion Park hope to hold a free concert series each summer. Frank, developer and president of Greenstone Corp., put up $25,000 for this concert series.
Friends of the Park will seek other sponsors and donors in the future.
It’s a safe bet that Friends of the Park won’t have to worry about attendance.
On Saturday afternoon, two girls peddled pop, popcorn and “popcycles.” So said their cardboard sign, anyway.
Sun-tanned matrons wiggled fire-engine red toenails in time to Foote’s contagious music. Well-prepared moms sheltered babies under beach umbrellas.
And a few boys on bicycles caroomed across the amphitheater, for those inevitable moments when toe-tapping wasn’t quite enough fun to hold them down. , DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: CONCERT SCHEDULE Other free concerts in the Liberty Lake series this summer include: Brewer and Shipley, folk music, July 19. An opening act starts at 6 p.m. The main concert starts at 7. Dan Seals, country music, July 27. The opening act starts at 2 p.m., with Seals starting at 3. The Boxtops, ‘60s popular music, Aug. 2. Opening act at 2 p.m., main act at 3. To reach the concerts at the Pavillion Park amphitheater, take the Liberty Lake exit from Interstate 90 and look for yellow and black signs. Overflow parking will be available.
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