School is back underway and fall is just around the corner, but no one lounging around Coeur d’Alene’s City Park on Sunday seemed ready to wave goodbye to summer just yet.
Melvin Soto of Spokane spent the afternoon splashing in Lake Coeur d’Alene and playing on the beach with his kids.
“I’ve been coming here a lot,” he said.
Most of the time his wife and two kids are his lakeside companions, but this weekend, seven members of his extended family made the trip from Yakima to Coeur d’Alene to join them.
The relatively smokeless summer has been a bonus. Soto spent much of last year’s wildfire season wearing a mask when he had to work outside as a janitor. Wildfire smoke this year was only an issue for a couple of days.
“I’m really happy about that,” he said.
Just a few hundred feet away in City Park, crowds gathered around the park’s band shell for an afternoon performance by the Sara Brown Band, a local rhythm and blues band from Kettle Falls. The band played during the third-to-last Sunday concert of the Music in the Park series. The series has attracted 300 to 500 people each weekend so far, organizer Chris Guggemos said.
Ted and Mary Nelson of Coeur d’Alene pedaled about a mile from their house on recumbent bikes to enjoy the music on Sunday.
The couple said they’ve spent most of their summer going to different free concerts and kayaking on the lake.
“It’s nice being down here. We bring our seats with us,” Ted said while leaning back in his bike seat.
Ruth and Ken Johnson of Post Falls took a bus to the park with 22 other residents of the Garden Plaza of Post Falls retirement home. Ruth said they’ve come to many of the concerts during their 29 years living in Post Falls.
“We really enjoy it. We really try to go to everything,” Ruth said.
These types of events are nostalgic for her.
“We’ve been to many functions out here with our granddaughters when they were little,” she said.
Rachel Nguyen, who lives in the Tri-Cities area, enjoyed a picnic with her family and friends across the lawn at City Park. She said it was her first time in Coeur d’Alene, and she thinks she’ll visit again next summer.
“We really enjoy the weather, the area,” she said. “We liked visiting here, being out on the beach.”