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Movin’, groovin’, dining and music brings out thousands to Santa Barbara’s Concerts in the Park

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Concerts in the Park music series is drawing thousands to Santa Barbara's Chase Palm Park for four shows this summer.

"I love it. I just love it. I am so excited that they have returned," said artist Pali.

They are held Thursday nights from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the Grand Meadow at the mountainside of the park.

One of the event hosts Catherine Remak said, "I think people have been wanting to get out for so long and what a great opportunity. Oh my gosh! This is Santa Barbara right here,  it's being with community, it's great to see everybody out, they're smiling, it's a sunny day and I love it when they dance."

Admission is free. The event is coordinated by the city of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department.

Many people come hours earlier and lay down their blankets and chairs to secure a prime location.

By the time the shows start, they've already arrived with their friends and others around them, in many cases with a picnic style dining experience.

Rhonda Bucci looked over her food display and said the pot luck was, "chicken,  cole slaw, tapenade, fruit salad."

The shows have been very interactive. Robert Bernstein said in between songs, "I love dancing and they having the music from my era."

The audience is often off their blankets and on the lawn in front of the performers.

This year's show schedule opened with the 80's cover band, the Molly Ringwald Project, followed by blues and R&B with Blue Breeze, and Thursday night it was Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries playing oldies. The final show will be July 28 with the Pepe Marquez band right before the city celebrates Old Spanish Days the following week.

These shows have been a good fit for those who are not traveling this summer or are on a tight budget. They are family-friendly, highly entertaining, and a chance for the community to share the park open space.

Many new friendships have been made.

Those with COVID-19 concerns have the room to enjoy the show with safe spacing and it's one of the few venues left at no cost that offer this activity.

"I've been coming for years. We've all been coming for years. When it's over we're  sad," said Bucci.

For more information go to: Concerts in the Park

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3. To learn more about John, click here.

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