‘Concerts on the Green’ to offer up tasty musical smorgasbord at Kate Sessions
by Bart Mendoza
Jul 18, 2012 | 3361 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Crowds pack Kate Sessions Park during a past year’s “Concerts on the Green Series.” This year’s series runs from July 22 through Aug. 12.                             Photo by Paul Hansen I Beach & Bay Press
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Summertime is peak time in San Diego for music and outdoor fun, with numerous events taking place around the county. As wonderful as those gatherings can be, nothing quite compares with Pacific Beach’s annual “Concerts on the Green Series.”

Now in its 10th year, the concert series takes place at Kate Sessions Park on consecutive Sundays between July 22 and Aug. 12, with tons of musical magic to lure families and fun-in-the-sun dancers from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

“Concerts on the Green” is the indirect descendent of a previous annual performance at the park, which always featured a military band. Beginning in 2003, a more ambitious four-concert series was started.

The emphasis in this event is on family fun, with this year’s music provided by country combo the Palominos on

July 22, Latin jazz and soul band Agua Dulce on July 29, classic rock favorites Rockola on Aug. 5 and the U.S. Navy Big Band on Aug. 12.

Picnics are encouraged, but barbeque grills and glass containers are prohibited, with the entire center section in front of the stage reserved for blankets or low-sitting beach/sand chairs.

“It’s a great community event, just wonderful for families who want to enjoy a lazy day picnic — just like old times,” said event chairwoman Georgina Smith, who has been with the series since its inception.

Though the concert series is extremely popular, according to Smith, it’s unlikely to be expanded beyond the four dates each summer.

“It’s all volunteer, so four weeks is plenty,” Smith said. “It takes time and effort to get the stages up and bands booked, permits taken care of and so on. This is a labor of love we do in our spare time for the community.”

The 2012 series is being dedicated to the memory of Bernie Houck of Beach Electric, a longtime community volunteer who passed away earlier this year.

As good as the musical entertainment is, what sets the concert series apart is the location, with Kate Sessions Park offering up a panoramic view of the city.

“We play a lot of outdoor concerts, but this one is really special,” said Rockola guitarist Mark DeCerbo. “We’ve played this particular event many times and still can’t get over the view. You can tell it really affects the audience when they come here and see it for the first time, but even longtime attendees still appreciate it. It’s a wonder anyone looks at the band when that sort of scenery is around.”

He said the family-oriented nature of “Concerts on the Green” is especially appealing.

“It’s a great spot for kids, with lots of room to run and play, as well as listen to music,” DeCerbo said. “With so many youngsters on hand, we try to tailor our set a bit to include songs that have universal appeal and a sing-a-long quality to them, so we have a bit of audience participation. It’s hard not to get caught up in the moment with songs like ‘Twist & Shout’ or ‘Wooly Bully.’”

• The 10th annual “Concerts on the Green” music series will be held at Kate Sessions Park on consecutive Sundays between July 22 and Aug. 12. The music runs from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Dogs must be leashed at all times. For more information, visit www.pbconcerts.org.
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