The Sounds of Summer concert series returned to Marysville's Jennings Memorial Park on July 16, bringing out families and community members to listen to live music again.
The city of Marysville provides the free concert series every summer, except for last summer when the event was canceled because of the pandemic.
“We want to give people outlets to sing again, dance again,” said Chris Taylor, cultural arts supervisor with the Marysville Parks, Culture and Recreation Department. “Who knows the last chance people had to do that because we’ve been cooped up for so long."
The music is a part of the city’s usual summer offerings to help people get outside.
“We love music and arts and recreation and sports,” said Taylor. “It’s what brings people together. We want to do things that every member of the family can enjoy and feel good about."
Families come out to the event to listen to local bands and enjoy the park.
This year’s series is a reduced lineup with only two concerts and one children’s concert.
Marysville staff members began planning for the series at the beginning of the year, which was a more uncertain time.
“As the guidelines started to loosen to the point where we could become fully open we said to ourselves ‘let’s start small and we can expand as we could go,’” said Taylor.
Parks and recreation staff have had to deal with a lot of unknowns about how to begin returning recreation events like the concert series.
“We said ‘what do people want right now? Do they want to be indoors? Do they want to be outdoors?’” said Taylor. “We’re trying to get a pulse for the community and at the same time trying to manage our budget."
Because of all those questions, city staff decided to focus on only a couple of concerts this year.
“There were just so many factors to take into consideration, which is why we went with a small amount of concerts,” said Taylor.
Next year the city could return to the normal five concerts for families and three for children that it typically offers.
“Our hope is to do a full slate of concerts,” said Taylor. “We’re going to see how the public reacts to that and evaluate for 2022 and beyond."
As recreation events are returning Taylor said the safety measures will likely remain a moving target going forward.
“As far as city and state regulations, we are fully open and ready to go. However the situation is so fluid,” he said.
Families who need safety can continue distancing and wearing a mask at events, he said. “And be respectful of those who do and don’t,” said Taylor.
The concert series will continue this month with a children’s concert featuring Eric Ode on July 21 at Jennings Park at noon.
The second family concert with Ranger & and the “Re-Arrangers” will be on July 23 at 7 p.m., also at Jennings Park.