Free twilight concerts have become summertime traditions in neighborhoods throughout San Diego County. They’re an opportunity for visitors, locals and their families to socialize, picnic, enjoy music together – and maybe even dance as the sun sets on another perfect San Diego summer day.
Here’s a sampling of what’s being staged this summer:
- The Bird Park Concert Series in North Park will open June 16 with Bluesman Nathan James. More concerts are scheduled June 30, July 14, July 28 and Aug. 11. All shows run 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Bird Park is at 28th and Thorn streets.
- Balboa Park’s Twilight in the Park concert series kicks off at 6:15 pm June 19 and continues on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 30 at the park’s Organ Pavilion. The hour-long shows feature everything from classical music to R&B.
- Enjoy organ music? Then check out the free Monday evening concerts, beginning at 7:30 pm on June 25 at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Top organists from around the country will perform. The 2012 season concludes on Aug. 27.
- The Point Loma Summer Concert Series opens July 13 with Atomic Groove and continue on consecutive Fridays through Aug. 10. Shows run 5:30 – 8:30 pm. Bring blankets and lawn chairs, picnics and Frisbees to Point Loma Park, 1049 Catalina Blvd. Too tired to pack a picnic? A different neighborhood eatery, ranging from Barons Marketplace to Gabardine, will sell food at each concert.
- Mission Hills’ Concerts in the Park series opens July 4 at Pioneer Park, 1425 Washington Place. Eleven more concerts are planned through August.
- Pacific Beach Concerts on the Green are set for Sundays July 22 through August 12. Shows run from 4:00 – 6:30 pm at Kate Sessions Park (Lamont Street, just north of Beryl). The Palominos open the season and the Navy’s Big Band closes it.
- Coronado’s Promenade Concert Series opens May 27 at Spreckels Park, 7th and Orange in Coronado. The 90-minute shows start at 6:00 pm Sundays through September 9. Groups on stage range from the Navy Southwest Show Band to Rockola.
- Coronado Ferry Landing Concert Series features live music with views of the Bay and San Diego Skyline. Performances are on Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00 – 5:00 pm starting on May 26 and ending on September 30.
- Del Mar’s Summer Twilight Concerts are set for Powerhouse Park, overlooking the Pacific, at 1600 Coast Blvd. Shows begin at 7:00 pm on the third Tuesday of June, July and August. There’s a 5:00 pm concert on Sunday Sept. 9. The Mar Dels open the season.
- Carlsbad’s TGIF Jazz in the Park is staged at three community parks. The season opens at Stagecoach Park (3420 Camino de los Coches), with concerts on June 29, July 6 and 13. The party moves to Poinsettia Park (6600 Hidden Valley Road) for concerts on July 20, 27 and August 3. The season closes at Calavera Hills Park (2997 Glasgow Drive) with concerts on Aug. 10, 17 and 24. Showtime is 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
- El Cajon Concerts on the Promenade was the first to open its 2012 season (on May 4). Concerts will be staged from 6:00 – 8:00 pm on Fridays through September 30, at Prescott Promenade near East Main Street and Rea Avenue in downtown El Cajon. The family oriented venue is smoke-, alcohol- and dog-free.
- Santee’s Free Summer Concerts are scheduled 6:30 – 8:30 pm on Thursdays, June 14 through Aug. 16 (except July 5), at Town Center Community Park East (550 Park Center Drive) in Santee. Picnics are welcome, but know that food trucks rally nearby.
Did we miss a free concert series in San Diego? Let us know in the comments below.