Portland, Oregon has amazing summers. It’s rarely too hot, it’s stunning, and there is always stuff to do. Portland also has myriad parks, peppered all over the Portland, Metro Area. More than that, Portland is home to a slew of talented musicians, of all genres, all ages, and all experience levels. What happens when you combine these three elements? Concerts in the Park.
Beginning in July and running through Mid August, the concerts in the park series of outdoor concerts guarantees free and fun entertainment for the whole family in parks all across the city. GlenHaven, Mt. Tabor, Sellwood Riverfront, Kenton, McCoy, Dawson, Willamette, and many others play host to everything from blues bands, to country and western, to R & B, rock ‘n’ roll and even comedy. It’s all free, it’s all fun, and it’s all family friendly.
For our first excursion of 2015, my wife and I chose Glen Haven Park in NE Portland for the country and blue grass stylings of the Barn Door Slammers. We packed up our camping chairs and a few snacks, drove through Downtown and arrived at Glen Haven. The huge green park, which includes a skate board ramp, two baseball fields, and a large green field ideal for soccer and pick up football games.
At the edge of the park, we found a gaggle of people of all shapes, ages, and sizes, and we settled in just in time for the music to start.
The fiddle started, then the lap steel, then the 1-2 1-2 1-2 of the pulsing drums and we were off! Traditional country songs mixed with originals and the whole crow d was drawn in. People danced in front of the stage. Behind us, kids played Frisbees, dogs sniffed each other’s hineys, couples snuggled. The park was alive with music, with personalities, with beauty, and with a strong sense of community.
The Barn Door Slammers took a break and, while my wife stayed and chatted with some new friends, I walked around to the few booths that were on site. I mingled with a few local artists, donated to a local charity and then came across the prize of all prizes: A gelato booth. I grabbed one, cantaloupe, and brought to my wife with two spoons.
My wife loves to share and as we were digging in, the Barn Door Slammers started up again and, as we enjoyed a gelato that tasted fresh and sweet, we clapped, sang, danced, and laughed with our neighbors in the Greatest City in America, Portland, Oregon.
For more information on the Concerts in the Park, visit http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/489141. I hope to see and dance with you there.