The beginning of the school year, slightly higher than average temperatures and other conflicts notwithstanding, the Concerts in the Park/Family Night Out/Certified Farmers Market will continue as scheduled tonight, Aug. 24, at Community Center Park, and through to the first week of September, as originally planned.
The event, presented by the Riverbank Chamber of Commerce since the middle of May, has seen its share of successes as well as difficulties.
Spotty participation by farmers, due somewhat to the effects of the ongoing drought, and also impacted by competing, neighboring events, along with 100-plus degree temperatures on some Wednesdays have diminished attendance. Also, there have been days when some regular vendors, those who sold prepared foods to attendees, were unable to attend.
The series of free movies, provided by the chamber each week after the market closed, saw a growing audience through the summer. The films were all drawn from the Marvel Studios library, featuring favorite superheroes, both individually and in groups. The Family Night Out held on the first day of school, Wednesday, Aug. 10, saw no one staying for the movie, perhaps because it was the first Wednesday school night. Since the movies weren’t shown until after dark, they get over near 10 p.m., pretty late for school children.
Garnette Martin, chamber board member and Market Manager, noted that the movies, not shown last week, either, have been discontinued, while the Concerts and Family Night Out will go on as scheduled, including tonight, with the final two market nights following on Aug. 31 and Sept. 7.
Returning to the stage this past week was Rich C. Olds, an Oakdale singer who packs along a sound system and an extensive library of recorded music tracks. He last performed at Concerts in the Park on June 1.
Tonight’s music features Paul Espinosa, guitarist with the Celtic music group Golden Bough. He also has performed here before, on May 25. As a solo artist, Espinosa brings acoustic 6- and 12-string guitar accompaniment to his performance of classic pop and rock songs.
The Concerts in the Park/Family Night Out festivities begin tonight at 5 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. It is held at Community Center Park, on Santa Fe Street, across from Cardozo Middle School.