Concerts on the Green series features diverse lineup
July 2, 2013
By Peter Clark
Music will play on the community center green again this summer as the city and the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah bring back the 17th annual Concerts on the Green series beginning July 9.
For eight weeks, different bands will bring a variety of performances and sounds for the free and family friendly occasion, regarded by many as an event special to Issaquah.
“We do have a great lineup this year,” said Jera Gilmore, the city’s event coordinator who has helped set up the concerts for the past nine years. “There is a lot of diversity. It’s kind of been a focus for us.”
In the interest of involving as many people as possible to enjoy the music, the Parks & Recreation Department has made a special effort to bring as much variety as possible in the acts that will perform. Gilmore said organizers strive to find good tribute and cover acts that can engage a large number of people. Bands listed on the schedule range from a Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute act to a Latin fusion group.
“We want to attract all of our citizens in Issaquah, so the whole community can be a part,” she said.
She also said that organizers strive to find musicians that will delight an audience with a memorable performance.
“We don’t just want the music to sound good, but also the performances to stand out,” Gilmore said. “It’s a big concert setting, and we want them all to stand out.”
She said it’s also important to continue giving citizens fresh experiences year after year.
“My goal every year is to have different performers,” she said about her strategy to plan the concerts. “We definitely try to focus on local bands in the Pacific Northwest.”
Above all, she expressed how the Concerts on the Green is a staple of Issaquah summers.
“Picnics are a huge thing,” she said. “Our goal is to have a family friendly event, and people look forward to it every year.”
Gilmore was also quick to mention the partnership the city has shared with the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah in putting the concerts together since the inception of the series.
Connie Fletcher a member of the Kiwanis Community Service Committee said the organization, city and citizens all benefit from the collaboration. Not only do Kiwanians run the concessions stand at the concerts, but they also help find funding.
“The Kiwanis can do things that the city can’t,” Fletcher said, “such as getting sponsorships.
“Each sponsor pays $2,000 — $1,000 goes to the bands and the rest goes to support the Kiwanis,” she said. “One hundred percent of what we raise goes directly back into the community.”
As the largest service club in Issaquah, Fletcher said the club helps with things like environmental concerns and socio-economic needs. Additionally, she said the sponsorships help strengthen the community.
“In return, the sponsors can make a wonderful summer happen,” she said. “It’s a way to show the community that they are good corporate citizens.”
She said Rowley Property Management has supported the concerts since the beginning and Swedish/Issaquah was very dedicated in its assistance.
Fletcher also praised organizer David Harris as being instrumental.
“David Harris is a phenomenal man,” she said. “He’s got a great ear for good music. He was there from the beginning and he really kept it going.”
She laughed when she talked about the Kiwanis contribution of running the concession stand.
“Yes, we do the concessions,” she said. “We haul our barbecues and cook sausages and feed people. And, of course, that money goes right back to the community.”
If you go
Concerts on the Green
-Tuesdays, from July 9 to Aug. 27
-Issaquah Community Center
-301 Rainier Blvd. S.
-Learn more at www.issaquahwa.gov/concerts.
-July 9 — Big Dog Revue, golden classics
-July 16 — Sly Mr Y, family rock dance band
-July 23 — Chance McKinney, industrialized country
-July 30 — Steve Kelley’s Little Big Band, Big Band, wing and jazz
-Aug. 6 — Kalimba, tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire
-Aug. 13 — Randy Linder Band, a Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute
-Aug. 20 — Manigua, Latin fusion
-Aug. 27 — Hairstorm, ‘80s hair rock