Summer outdoor performances begin next week
Free concerts, movies and plays will be available weekly in local parks
Get the picnic basket out and dust off your sand chairs. The areas summer concert series are about to begin.
A wealth of free musical performances, movies and live theater production will be presented in Lake Oswego and West Linn, as well as on the Marylhurst University campus, and organizers have worked for months to make sure all of the events are a success.
Madeline Marin-Foucher, who is the summer concert coordinator for the City of Lake Oswego, has two series to manage: The Wednesday-night Sounds of Summer series starts July 6 at Foothills Park before switching midway through the season to Westlake Park; on Sunday evenings, music lovers can attend the Moonlight and Music series, which will be held at Millennium Plaza Park.
We book the bands in January and then begin planning for our food and drink vendors, which are always changing, Marin-Foucher says. We are trying a new concept this year of pop-up food cart pods to help add some extra hype. We have food vendors at both the Sounds of Summer and Moonlight and Music concerts, and well be featuring Salt and Straw ice cream at all our Wednesday concerts.
Presenting the weekly concerts involves a lot of moving parts, Marin-Foucher says.
A lot of people ask how we regulate watering the lawn, which can be tricky. We want our grass green, but were also hoping to avoid a Soggy Bottom Boys performance if you catch my drift, she says. Our irrigation specialist for parks maintenance works to find the right balance and will generally shut off the water one to two days prior to the concerts at Foothills Park and then Westlake.
On the day of the concerts, Marin-Foucher arrives at 2 p.m. to work with maintenance crews to prepare the site.
We have the stage already set up, but we have to put out supplies and sponsor banners, make sure the extra trash and glass recycling containers are out, and help all our vendors and onsite sponsors find their booth spaces, she says. By the time our early audience members come in sometimes as early as 4 or 5 p.m. were well on our way to sound check, with the musicians arriving and working with our audio team to perfect volume and clarity.
During the concerts, Marin-Foucher checks decibel levels multiple times from different places in the park to ensure they arent exceeding City of Portland sound level limits.
Interestingly enough, Lake Oswego doesnt have a city sound ordinance, so to be respectful we go off of Portlands, just to play it safe, she says. If the music is too loud or the performer is muffled, I will approach our audio team to correct the issue.
After the concert, Marin-Foucher and the maintenance team begin the big task of cleaning up, working to ensure the park is in pristine condition for the next day.
We help facilitate the bands, vendors and contractors leaving the site, and I work with the wonderful Ranger Ben (LaBounty) and volunteers to help regulate traffic, she says. Lake Oswego police also help us regulate traffic, especially at Foothills Park where we really only have one way in and out of the park.
Our team stays onsite until well after 10 p.m. to make sure we leave the park in pristine condition, Marin-Foucher says, and that everyone leaves the area safely.
This summer, Lake Oswego Parks & Rec will also host free Movies in the Parks at dusk (8:30-9 p.m.) on Thursday evenings from July 21-Aug. 11. The shows will be at Millennium Plaza Park, 200 First St. Bring blankets, pillows and low sand chairs for a family-friendly event.
Also on tap: performances of The Trickster of Seville by Masque Alfresco at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from July 22-Aug. 7 at George Rogers Park. The play by Tirso de Molina is the first written version of the famous Don Juan legend, and as typical commedia plays go, the servants know more than their masters. The performances are family-friendly. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnics. Dogs are welcome on leashes.
For the complete lineup of entertainment options in Lake Oswego, visit ci.oswego.or.us.
West Linns concerts take place on Thursday evenings at Tanner Creek Park. Ken Warner, assistant parks and recreation director, says a committee of community members and parks staff start in December to select the bands for the following summer.
At the same time, we start to work with all the sponsors for the concerts, he says. The basic logistics of the concerts include coordinating the bands, stage and sound, food vendors, sponsors and onsite activities for each weeks concerts, like bouncy houses, face painting, etc. We try to make the events a great experience for our concert-goers, vendors and our sponsors all at the same time.
Its a daylong process to prepare for the concerts, Warner says.
We have many duties that include signage, trash receptacles, hanging banners, setting up parking areas and greeting vendors and sponsors and a crew that assists with parking cars, he says. Food vendors this year include Right Bayou Cajun, LaSen Grill, Shark Bait Shaved Ice and the West Linn Rotary, which will be selling kettle corn. Petes Mountain Vineyard and Winery will be offering wines.
Warner says hes most looking forward to hearing Curtis Salgado perform this summer.
He played a couple of years ago, Warner says, and people really enjoy his music.
West Linn Parks & Rec will also present Movies in the Park this summer on Friday evenings at dusk (approximately 8:30 p.m.). Locations change each week.
The complete line up can be viewed online at westlinnoregon.gov/parksandrec.
Ben Verdoorn has the responsibility of organizing the performances for Summer on the Green, Marylhurst Universitys series of outdoor performances at the Lajos Balogh Performance Shell. This years performances, which include live theater and music, are being held Friday evenings, with food and beverages available for purchase.
Once the shell is raised at the beginning of the season, the weekly duties for the maintenance crew are pretty routine, Verdoorn says. Once the audio team completes sound checks, its time to sit back and enjoy the performance. My biggest challenge is all the paperwork, Verdoorn says. We have a number of internal procedures we need to complete to ensure musicians are paid, etc. And we work hard to line up sponsors. We can always use more sponsors.
Verdoorn says hes most looking forward to hearing Quarterflash and rock violinist Aaron Meyer. And the Shakespeare will be great to see too, he says.
Bon Appetit and other catering companies will sell foods. The public is invited to bring picnics, beverages, chairs and blankets.
To view the complete lineup visit marylhurst.edu/arts-and-events/summer-on-the-green.
Each week during the summer, The Review and Tidings will list the upcoming concerts and performances. Heres whats on tap next week:
July 6 (7-9 p.m.): Sounds of Summer Concert presents Johnny Limbo and the Lugnuts at Foothills Park, 199 Foothills Blvd., Lake Oswego.
July 6 (7 p.m.): Clackamas Community Band will present a concert in Hammerle Park, 1505 Lewis St., West Linn, with ice cream served by Bolton Neighborhood Association.
July 8 (6 p.m.): Summer on the Green at Marylhurst University presents Coriolanus by Portland Actors Ensemble, an enthralling story of the Roman leader Caius Marcus Coriolanus and one of Shakespeares final tragedies. The campus is at 17600 S.W. Pacific Highway, Marylhurst.
July 8 (dusk): Movies in the Park presents Norm of the North at Robinwood Park, 3600 Fairview Way, West Linn.
July 10 (6-7:30 p.m.): Moonlight & Music presents Michael Allen Harrison and Julianne Johnson at Millennium Plaza Park, 200 First St., Lake Oswego.