Big Cat Tolefree will perform at the opening concert June 20. Photo copyright 2011 by Keri Solorio.
By Elena Kadvany
Special to the Almanac
Menlo Park will take its annual step into summer on Wednesday, June 20, with the start of the city's summer concert series and a block party on downtown Santa Cruz Avenue, which will be closed to traffic from El Camino Real to University Drive from around 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
At the block party, which will run from about 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Facebook will host a performance platform for dancers, musicians and martial artists, and a pie-eating contest with current and past civic leaders, according to organizer Brian Flegel.
A "bark parade" will be held between north and south Crane Street, and all dogs are welcome to participate, Mr. Flegel said. "Just come and sign up before 5:45 p.m., or pick up a signup form at any of the pet places around town," he said.
There will be live music up and down Santa Cruz Avenue and a food truck, Mama's Empanadas.
Restaurants will offer street and outside service and will stay open at least until the end of the event at 9 p.m., he said.
This sixth annual block party is hosted by the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce. Another block party will be held Wednesday, Aug. 15.
On June 20, the blues band Big Cat & The Hipnotics will kick off the free Wednesday night concert series at Fremont Park, located on Santa Cruz Avenue at University Drive. The eight concerts, sponsored by the city of Menlo Park, run from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Following are the other concerts in the series:
■ June 27: The Hot Rods ("rockin' oldies")
■ July 11: Mark Russo and The Classy Cats (swing)
■ July 18: Dream Posse (country)
■ July 25: Pat Wilder & Serious Business (blues)
■ Aug. 1: The Touch of Class Band (R&B)
■ Aug. 8: TinMan (classic rock)
■ Aug. 15: The Sun Kings (Beatles tribute)