Music on the Streets returns to downtown Issaquah

September 6, 2011

NEW — 11:30 a.m. Sept. 6, 2011

The second-to-last 2011 Music on the Streets features local band Shaggy Sweet performing funk, rock and soul at the historic Shell gas station on Issaquah’s Front Street.

The concert is 6-9 p.m. Wednesday at the Hailstone Feed Store, the 1940s Shell gas station, at 232 Front St. N.

The last Music on the Streets is 6-9 p.m. Sept. 14, again at the feed store, and features the return of Sub-Motive, a group playing blues, funk and soul. The group performed at a Music on the Streets in August.

All Music on the Streets events are free and open to the public. The events are held rain or shine.

Music on the Streets is sponsored by the DownTown Issaquah Association and the city Arts Commission. Commercial sponsors are the Hilton Garden Inn, Issaquah Nursing & Rehabilitation and Eastside Audiology.

Catch Hotbox at downtown Issaquah’s Music on the Streets

August 23, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 23, 2011

Hotbox, an Everett-based cover band, is the headlining act for the next Music on the Streets event produced by the DownTown Issaquah Association.

Covering songs from the 1960s to the 1980s, Hotbox will perform from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday at the historic Hailstone Feed Store, 232 Front St. N.

The association put together 10 Music on the Streets events for this summer, running every Wednesday through Sept. 14. Events are held rain or shine.

Upcoming shows include Peacemaker Nation playing blues, jazz, R&B and hip-hop on Aug. 31; Shaggy Sweet, playing funk Sept. 7; and Sub-Motive, playing original rock and blues Sept. 14.

Learn more about Music on the Streets at www.downtownissaquah.com or call 391-1112.

Music on the Streets is sponsored by Eastside Audiology, the Hilton Garden Inn Issaquah, and Issaquah Nursing and Rehabilitation.

Revamped Music on the Streets returns on new night with new lineup

July 12, 2011

To lure more visitors to downtown Issaquah this summer, the Music on the Streets program returns for its sixth year, with an overhauled lineup and on a new night.

Music on the Streets was designed by the DownTown Issaquah Association as a vehicle to bring additional shoppers to downtown businesses. In previous years, musicians performed live music in various locations along Front Street on Thursday through Saturday nights. However, for the 2011 season, the schedule was truncated to one night a week at one location.

Concert schedule

Concerts start at 6 p.m. at the Hailstone Feed Store, 232 Front St. N.

July 13: Ramshackle — ’60s dance

July 20: Undercover — ’70s and ’80s and Beatles covers

July 27: The Rainieros — Western swing

Aug. 3: Train Wreck — ’60s and ’70s dance

Aug. 10: Kellee Bradley — folk-rock, pop

Aug. 17: Sub-Motive — blues, funk, rock

Aug. 31: Peacemaker Nation — blues, jazz, hip-hop

Sept. 7: Shaggy Sweet — funk, soul

Sept. 14: Sub-Motive — blues, funk, rock.

“We weren’t getting the feet attendance at shows we were hoping to,” said Annique Bennett, DownTown Issaquah Association cultural events coordinator.

She said the feedback the association received from restaurant owners showed people were already attending musical programs at their establishments and not necessarily the Music on the Streets performances.

“They preferred attracting additional foot traffic on Wednesday nights,” Bennett said.

So the Thursday through Saturday schedule was scrapped and replaced with 10 weeks of Wednesdays at the historic Hailstone Feed Store at 232 Front St. N.

Next, Bennett enlisted the aid of local promoter and talent agent Carol Tingstad to fill out the entertainment lineup, offering a wide variety of music styles for everyone to enjoy each week. Ramshackle, Undercover and Train Wreck are all local bands; the rest are Seattle-area bands. Bennett said one signing was a special coup for Tingstad.

“Kellee Bradley, who performs folk-rock and pop Aug. 10, has opened for the likes of Steve Miller, Jo Dee Messina and Chicago,” she said.

Bennett said the location at the historic gas station should provide the perfect venue for the bands to perform, especially in inclement weather.

Read more

DownTown Issaquah Association charts new course

April 26, 2011

The decision to oust the longtime DownTown Issaquah Association executive director has not impeded the organization in the run-up to ArtWalk, a spring and summer staple for downtown merchants.

Organizers credited former Executive Director Greg Spranger and former Cultural Events Manager Michael Johnson with building solid support for the event.

The upcoming ArtWalk has focused renewed attention on a February staff shakeup at the downtown business organization. ArtWalk returns for a 10th season May 6 and runs one Friday each month until September.

DownTown Issaquah Association leaders decided to scrap the executive director position and hired another candidate as community relations manager rather than longtime executive director Spranger. Johnson then resigned in protest.

The decision prompted angry letters to the editor and hard feelings among some downtown merchants and supporters.

Read more

Press Editorial

March 1, 2011

Downtown Issaquah has opportunity ahead

The DownTown Issaquah Association has a new director. That announcement may seem insignificant, but at second glance, the association is important to everyone who lives here.

Newcomers repeatedly say it is the historic downtown along Front Street that is a prime factor is choosing Issaquah. It’s that last vestige of bygone Norman Rockwell-like days that lure people here.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that doing business in this central core is easy. The downtown has its problems — like traffic, lack of adequate parking and lack of a destination store. But it has its pluses — at the heart of the civic area, lower rents and it’s pedestrian friendly.

When Village Theatre expanded to its Mainstage theater, it was predicted that the downtown would become a cultural district. It took years to do that, but over time came the opening of the new Issaquah Library, the monthly ArtWalks and weekly Music on the Streets, the founding of artEAST and its Up Front gallery, and other businesses rounding out the scene with art and music classes. More restaurants followed, some with live music of their own.

Read more

Music on the Streets returns with variety of acts

June 29, 2010

Issaquah’s best-kept secret is back.

Polly Blomster plays her tambourine while performing ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ June 26 with the Blues Studebakers, at the Front Street and Sunset Way pedestrian park during the first week this summer’s Music on the Streets schedule. By Greg Farrar

Music on the Streets, commonly known as MOTS, is coming to Issaquah for the fourth year in a row.

An offshoot of ArtWalk, a local success for the past eight years, MOTS is a fun, cultural live music event designed to draw people to downtown Issaquah.

This summer it will take over Front Street from Pedestrian Park, between JaK’s Grill and Mandarin Garden restaurant, to Stage 195, 195th Front St. N., in front of Stella and artbyfire.

From June 24 until Sept. 24, nearly 50 live music acts will perform every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. Every event is free to the public.

The idea was born from the huge popularity of musical acts that performed at ArtWalk. This year, some of the artists performing at MOTS will also perform at ArtWalk.

“It helps keep the area alive,” Events Director Michael Johnson said. “It’s fun and it brings a vibe and atmosphere to Issaquah.”

All of the music is kid friendly, making the mini concerts perfect events to attend as a family.

Unlike other summer concerts, MOTS is ideal for passers-by to come and go as they please. Read more

New design envisioned for downtown park

March 16, 2010

Issaquah landscape architect Dar Webb re-envisioned Pedestrian Park. Downtown boosters hope the proposal launches a discussion about the future of the park. Contributed

Advocates for downtown Issaquah want to transform the space between Jak’s Grill and Mandarin Garden from a blah concrete expanse into a vibrant park for pedestrians, musicians and festival vendors.

Michael Johnson, events director for the DownTown Issaquah Association, asked Dar Webb, a landscape architect and a downtown tenant, to re-envision the space known as Pedestrian Park. Webb presented a park lined with trees, planters and public art.

“That place would be unbelievably packed if we opened it up like this,” Johnson said.

The proposal received a warm reception from the city Arts Commission when Johnson and Webb presented renderings and discussed the idea March 8. However, any proposal to remake the park must go through the public process for all city projects.

The proposal presented last week merely shows how Pedestrian Park could be improved. Any eventual upgrades to the park will look different from the renderings Webb prepared.

Johnson said he hopes the proposal will encourage business owners, city officials and residents to re-envision the space. Read more

Mayor proposes leaner budget for 2010

October 6, 2009

Fewer dollars would be set aside for the DownTown Issaquah Association, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, Village Theatre and other organizations supported by city money under the 2010 budget unveiled by Mayor Ava Frisinger. Read more