Plan now to unfold your lawn chairs or throw down a blanket to lounge on the grass at Dacca Park each Friday at 6:30 p.m. through Aug. 11. It’s really just the best (family and dog-on-leash friendly) concert happening around. The talent at Fife’s Music In The Park is more than just reputable, as they definitely have inspiring resumes, but the bands change every week. That means there will be enough variety to keep your toes tapping all summer long.
The live concerts are free and you can bring your own food or buy some from Chef Dave and Donna Arnold. They sell their burgers, fries, hot dogs, chicken, water, tea, soda, shakes and short-cake with fruit dessert topping and whipped cream out of their Arnold’s Happy Days food truck. According to Fife’s Events & Facilities Recreation Coordinator Bonnie Moeller, if it ever happens that Arnold’s Happy Days food truck cannot be at the park during the music, then a substitute food truck will be on the menu. So there’s more than one possibility for keeping your stomach working in rhythm with your dancing feet.
Last week, Wally and the Beeves filled the music stage and it was hard to say who was the biggest superstar of that show because vocalist Keely Whitney energized the crowd with her adorable 1950's style dress, her tireless retro-style dancing, her magnetic – and did I say amazing? – voice. Whitney made a number of calls to the crowd and she was so persuasive that members of the audience, who had been leisurely basking in the sun, actually sat up or stood to sing along.
Also with Wally and the Beeves, Elvis tribute artist Danny Vernon took his hillbilly cat jiving hairstyle down to the lawn chairs where he shamelessly flirted with the lounging ladies. He also made a number of entertaining dance gestures and otherwise directly interacted with the crowd.
Then Saxophonist Wayne Ledbetter wowed everybody when he appeared from behind the two main vocalists. He was wearing two saxophones around his neck at once and when he started playing a solo, it made the hairs stand up on people’s arms. His talent really is just that exhilarating.
Yet so much more is coming to the park. Here’s the remaining itinerary:
• July 21: Fabulous Murphtones. If you like dancing to popular high-energy dance tunes, and enjoy both rock and classic rock, then you will love the solid rhythm section of this band. It has bass, drums, guitars and saxophone and the band is named after lead guitarist and vocalist Frank (Murph) Murphy.
• July 28: The Coats. From humble beginnings from 1987 where they sang from Seattle street corners, this now seasoned acappella band has toured nationally together. The four male vocalists mix comic relief with song and amuse the crowd when they sing girl-band music. See their bios: Thecoats.net/band_bio.
• Aug. 4: Jones & Fischer. Too high energy for chewing a blade of wheat grass, this country/rock band and has toured nationally and they can be booked for their talent at weddings and other parties. Appropriate for all ages. Find them on Facebook!
• Aug. 11: Recess Monkey. Three Seattle elementary school teachers rock the family-friendly stage. Their album “Novelties” is a 2017 Grammy nominee for best children’s music. Song titles include “Ukulalien” and “Beat-Box-A-Robot.”
While Fife Music In The Park begins at 6:30 each Friday, the adjacent farmer’s market (which begins at 3 p.m.) runs with a little overlap and shuts down at 7 p.m. The connected Fife History Museum also operates on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. so families who want to bring Fido to the dog park and then spend the rest of the day at Dacca Park will find plenty to do.
Dacca Park has running water and flushing toilets that are handicap accessible. The off-leash dog park is a little too far behind the track and sports field, which is behind the Fife History Museum, to hear much of the band from that distance. So those who bring their dogs to Fife Music In The Park should remember to bring leashes with them for partaking in the concert.
“This is our second season and we are fine-tuning how we promote Friday nights in the park,” said Moeller. Dacca Park, 2820 54th Ave. Friday nights at 6:30. Folks who have questions about Music In The Park are invited to call Moeller at (253) 896-8657.