After our dreary spring weather, isn’t it wonderful to see a little more sun and summer-like temperatures now? July is National Parks and Recreation Month, which is fitting because it’s the real kickoff of high season for our city parks. 

The 32 parks and trails that make up our city parks inventory offer a variety of outdoor recreational experiences, from active sports to quiet contemplation, neighborhood playgrounds to regional destinations. I regularly jog the Bayview Trail with my dog, Blu, and enjoy stunning views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains. 

This summer our Parks, Culture and Recreation Department is offering something new and bringing back many long-time favorites. Here’s a look at the fun in store. 

Outdoor Children’s Concerts start this Wednesday, July 6. Bring a blanket and a picnic lunch to Jennings Park for free concerts starting at noon. Entertainers: July 6 – Eric Herman; July 20 – The Brian Waite Band; Aug. 3 – The Harmonica Pocket. 

All Comers Track Meets – Starting this Thursday, July 7, are these fun-for-all-ages family track meets. Track coaches and teams from Marysville Pilchuck and Lakewood high schools offer a wide variety of running and field events; cost is $5 per participant each day. Dates are July 7, 14, 21 and 28 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lakewood High School track.  

Sounds of Summer Outdoor Concerts offer free live music on five consecutive Friday evenings starting at 7 p.m. in Jennings Park. On stage: July 15 – Cosmo’s Dream; July 22 – Scott Lindenmuth; July 29 – Red Light Challenge; Aug. 5 – Third Harbour Band; Aug. 12 – Danny Ward. 

Movies in the Park are back, running five consecutive Saturdays starting July 16. Free family-friendly movies begin at 9 p.m. or dusk at Jennings Park. Here’s the lineup: July 16 - Sing 2 (PG); July 23 - Jungle Cruise (PG-13); July 30 – Encanto (PG); Aug. 6 – Cruella (PG-13); Aug. 13 – San Andreas (PG-13). 

Popsicles in the Park – New this year! In partnership with the city, local businesses and community groups, LINC NW will be spending time at Comeford Park connecting with families and passing out free popsicles. I plan to be at the August 19th one and you can meet Marysville police officers and firefighters, too! Dates are Fridays July 29, Aug. 5, Aug. 12 and Aug. 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, Aug. 2, for National Night Out. Marysville Police and Fire invite you to Jennings Park from 6 to 7:30 p.m. to meet and talk with your officers and firefighters. People of all ages can enjoy watching Police K-9 demonstrations, exploring vehicles and more. You can also talk with city Emergency Management staff and community partners about safety tips and resources. 

Finally, you may already know that the Spray Park opened last month and is getting plenty of use on warm days. We appreciate your patience during the construction of our new Comeford Park restrooms and the other improvements that are underway. 

I appreciate our Parks, Culture and Recreation staff for their hard work throughout the year. In celebration of Parks and Recreation Month, I encourage you to get outside and enjoy your city’s parks and trails. 

Jon Nehring has been Mayor of Marysville since 2010. You can reach him at 360-363-8000 or jnehring@marysvillewa.gov.

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