Summer entertainment in Downtown Vancouver, USA started last night... with an old fashioned rock concert. They said six thousand people were there at Esther Short Park. Our group held their ground with beach chairs and a blanket. There was plenty of room under the huge tree that one friend secured by arriving at 4:30 p.m. The concert didn't start until 6.
The free Six to Sunset concert series consistently brings 5,000 to 6,000 people to the park each week. On opening night, Stone in Love, a Journey tribute band, entertained the crowd. During the sound check the band just about blew us out of the park. But by the time they started, things had been toned down a bit and we had a great evening of memorable music and good conversation under the trees.
While you can bring a picnic dinner, there are many opportunities for purchasing food.... from an Oriental bowl to kettle corn, from the surrounding vendors. If you want to quaff a beer or two, there is a cordoned-off beer garden on one corner of the park.
It's a relaxing gathering. People dance in front of the bandstand and children and dogs play on the grass. This night was warm enough for fun in the fountain. After the concert I saw water-drenched children yelling with glee as they walked through the creek look-alike. It was shortly after eight o-clock by the hands on the Salmon Run Clock as I headed back to my car. Parking was easy and the crowds were manageable. After all, this was downtown Vancouver. Oh yes, and the concerts are free.
Vancouver and Riverview Community Bank are promoting the series through social media. People can post photos, videos or check in with a status update from the park using the hashtag #6tosunset on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Google+ have the chance to win a prize from local businesses.
In addition to Thursday concerts, Esther Short also hosts the free Destination Downtown noon concerts and Friday Night Movies in the Park that start at dusk.
Concert Schedule for the Six to Sunset concerts on 6 p.m. Thursdays at Esther Short Park.
• July 17: The Beatniks
• July 24: Curtis Salgado
• July 31: Johnny Limbo & The Lugnuts
• Aug. 7: 5 Guys Named Moe
• Aug. 14: Vancouver Symphony Orchestra