Free twilight concerts have become summertime traditions in neighborhoods throughout San Diego County. From Chula Vista to Carlsbad, from Coronado to El Cajon, the early evening summer concerts are 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:
- Pacific Beach Concerts on the Green are set for Sundays July 24 through Aug. 14. Shows run from 4:00 until 6:30 pm at Kate Sessions Park (Lamont Street, just north of Beryl). The Blue Breeze Band opens the season, followed by the Stoney B Blues Band, Candy Kane and Three Chord Justice.
- The Point Loma Summer Concert Series will open at 6:00 pm on July 15 with a salute to the Beatles – and continue from 6:00 until 8:00 pm on consecutive Fridays through Aug. 12. Boogie to music by The Mighty Untouchables, the MarDels, Rockola and Cash’d Out. Bring blankets and lawn chairs, picnics and frisbees to Point Loma Park, 1049 Catalina Blvd.
- Mission Hills’ 2011 Concerts in the Park series opens at noon July 4 with Mama Red on stage at Pioneer Park, 1425 Washington Place. Twilight concerts are set for July 15 and 22, 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the park.
- Balboa Park’s Twilight in the Park concert series kicks off at 6:15 pm June 21 and continues on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 25 at the park’s Organ Pavilion. The hour-long concerts will feature everything from classical music to Dixieland to Old School R&B.
- Enjoy organ music? Then check out the free Monday evening concerts, beginning at 7:30 pm at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Top organists from around the country will perform. The season opens June 20 and concludes on Aug. 29.
- The Bird Park Concert Series in North Park will open at 5:30 pm on July 2 with the Stoney B Blues Band. More concerts are scheduled from 5:30 until 7:30 pm on July 16, 30 and Aug. 13. Bird Park is at 28th and Thorn streets.
- University Heights’ Trolley Barn Park is the setting for Friday night concerts July 8 through Aug. 5. Shows run 6:00 – 8:00 pm and feature a lineup of hot local groups, from Billy Lee & the Swamp Critters to Sue Palmer & her Motel Swing Orchestra.
- Coronado’s Promenade Concert Series is set at that community’s Spreckels Park. Performances begin at 6:00 pm on Sundays now through Aug. 28. Concerts on Sept. 4 and 11 begin at 5:00 pm. Bands booked offer a diverse range of music – from the Navy’s Southwest Wind Ensemble to local favorite, Rockola.
- 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 set for Sunday, Sept. 18. Atomic Groove opens the season, followed by Rockola, Mrs. Robinson and the Sensation Show Band. Picnic, dance and wait for the green flash.
- Carlsbad’s 26th season of TGIF Jazz in the Park will be staged at three community parks this summer. The season opens at Stagecoach Park (3420 Camino de los Coches), with concerts on June 24, July 1 and 8. The party moves to Poinsettia Park (6600 Hidden Valley Road) for concerts on July 15, 22 and 29. The season closes at Calavera Hills Park (2997 Glasgow Drive) with concerts on Aug. 5, 12 and 19. Showtime is 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
- Escondido’s “Saturdays in the Park” concerts are set for June 25, July 9 and 23, Aug. 6 and 20 at Grape Day Park, 321 North Broadway. Shows start at 7 PM. Get down to everything from 70s soul to rockabilly.
- La Mesa’s Sundays at Six concert series opens on June 12 and continues Sundays, 6:00 – 7:00 pm, through July 24 at Harry Griffen Park, 9550 Milden St.
- El Cajon Concerts on the Green are already underway – staged at Prescott Promenade (across from City Hall) every Friday evening through Sept. 30. Showtime is 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Downtown sizzles with rock‘n’roll, bluegrass, country, big band sounds, Latin beats, jazz and world music. The family oriented venue is smoke-, alcohol- and dog-free.
- Santee’s Free Summer Concerts are scheduled from 6:30 – 8:30 pm Thursdays June 16 through Aug. 18 (except July 7). This year’s venue, Town Center Community Park East (550 Park Center Drive), includes amphitheater seating, a raised stage playground and concession stand – but picnics are welcome.
- Lemon Grove’s Concerts in the Park are set for Thursday evenings, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, from July 7 through Aug. 11. Shows, featuring popular local bands including the Cat-illacs and Y3K, are staged at Berry Street Park, 7071 Mt. Vernon St.
- The Chula Vista Village Vibes concert season begins at 6:30 pm on July 13 and runs six consecutive Wednesday evenings. Enjoy classic rock ’n’ roll, blues, Motown, reggae or jazz at the Memorial Park Bowl in CV’s Third Avenue Historic District. Pack a picnic or grab eats at one of the 25 restaurants along Third Avenue.