It isn't really summer in Menlo Park until the first beach blankets hit the grass in Fremont Park for the annual concert series, a rite that will take place on Wednesday, June 23, this year.
Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, a band that plays jazz classics from the 1940s and 1950s, will perform from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the park, at the corner of Santa Cruz Avenue and University Drive.
June 23 is also the date of the first summer block party, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, which will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The chamber is making a concerted effort this year, even more so than usual, to make the event appealing to kids. There will be a "kid zone" with a giant slide, and children will be given "passports" they can use to collect stickers from various places on Santa Cruz Avenue. The winner gets free tickets to a Giants game.
In addition to the Fremont Park concert, five bands will play on a separate stage, including the Raytones, Blue, and Members, according to Brian Flegel, who's helping to organize the event. There also will be a community stage, with local youth bands and dance groups. Most restaurants will stay open late, according to Mr. Flegel.
Go to menloparkchamber.com or call the chamber at 325-2818 for more information about the block party, or to buy sidewalk space for your business or organization.
Concerts will follow every Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. through Aug. 11, the date of the second block party. Beatles tribute band Sun Kings will close out the concert series on the same date.
Here's the concert schedule this summer:
● June 23: Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers (jazz classics)
● June 30: Zoo Nation (U2 Tribute band)
● July 7: Pat Wilder & Serious Business (blues)
● July 14: The Hitmen (70s funk)
● July 21: Fito Reinoso (Cuban/salsa)
● July 28: The Contenders (classic rock)
● Aug. 4: Tom Rigney (Cajun)
● Aug. 11: Sun Kings (Beatles tribute band)