By Sophie Gold and Cameron Powell, Staff Writers
// As yet another summer weekend approaches, people look for new ways to switch up their routine. Many kids, teenagers, and adults have come together to attend an outdoor summer concert every week in the Moraga Commons Park.
Moraga Parks & Recreation hosts a variety of events over the course of the year, including the Summer Concert Series, in which local bands come to perform in the Commons on Thursday evenings from 6:30 until 8:30 PM from June 9 through August 4.
The fun and memorable environment attracts residents from across Moraga and the surrounding towns.
“Prior to the pandemic, we [came] here a lot. [It is] especially [a great event] for young kids… [When we attended the concerts] a few years ago, they had a country band that [performed, as well as] a Michael Jackson group that was really good, [and the] Mixed Nuts are [also] good, they have been out here before. Those are probably my favorites so far,” community member Robert Filipas said.
Many attendees set up a picnic on the grass to eat as they enjoy the music. Local vendors and food trucks offer an assortment of food for purchase, including burgers, tacos, pizza, and ice cream.
“The pizzas that we are making are fresh and everyone is coming to order so I think it is a special touch. Everyone just enjoys getting out and seeing each other. [There are] a lot of friends meeting up [which] is nice,” Wheelhouse Pizza volunteer Katy Keough said.
Others, while enjoying the entertainment and food provided, attend the social gathering to catch up with friends and support the community.
“The fact that there are local bands coming [makes the concert important], it is a good way to support people [who are performing]. A lot of people from the town come and towns nearby, [so] it is a good way for people [of the community] to see people [who] they have not been seeing all summer,” Miramonte High School frosh Audrey Spears said.
Another factor making this particular event so popular is its location. Residents reflect on returning to the park multiple times over the years.
“I’ve lived in the area [for] 16 years [and] my kids are now at [Campolindo High School], so we came to the park for a long time before this. This summer our friend has this new business, so we are helping out with that,” Keough said.
The concert keeps everyone occupied with the opportunity to socialize, dance in front of the stage, and a playground for young children.
“A lot of people [of] all ages were there… families went… even if you did not know the music, there was still a lot to do and people to talk to,” sophomore Sadie Poole said.
That being so, community members point out the importance of an accessible outdoor space for the concerts to take place after around two years of worrying about COVID-19
“It is a really fun event, and it is lively, there is lots of space, [and especially with the presence of] COVID-19 it is nice [that] it is outside,” Keough said.
As a whole, the Summer Concert Series provides an opportunity to families and friends of all ages to support local musicians and businesses, have a great time together, and return year after year.
“[This event is important to us because of the] quality time you get to hang out with family and it is just a relaxing thing. We like it just because it breaks up the week for us, so you have something to look forward to in the middle of the week as opposed to just the weekend,” Filipas said.
Photos by Sophie Gold and Cameron Powell, Staff Writers