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Evening in the Park offers free fun for residents

By: Lauren Weber, The Placer Herald
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There was head bopping, singing along and picnics in the park during Stealin’ Time’s performance for Rocklin residents — all for free during the summertime Evenings in the Park. Put on by the city of Rocklin and Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce, bands are booked for summer shows without dipping into residents’ pocketbooks. Stealin’ Time brought songs to Johnson-Springview Park such as “Mustang Sally,” “That’ll be the Day” and “Under the Boardwalk” last Friday night, the second of four free concerts for locals. According to Megan Hemming, program and events director with the Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce, between 750 and 1,000 people attend the Evenings in the Park, enjoying live music, strolling through the lawn filled with local business booths and letting the kids enjoy the bounce house, hula-hoops and drawing with sidewalk chalk. Barbara Cowan of Rocklin brought one of her 14 grandchildren with her last Friday night. Sitting atop a blanket, Cowan listened to the music while her granddaughter Lissette Ortiz, 3, had candy in one hand and a green balloon in the other. “We come every year as much as we can,” Cowan said. “We really enjoy the music.” Hemming said the bands are chosen from listening to samples, listening live to the candidates and choosing family-appropriate music, as most of the attendees are families or young couples, she said. The city and chamber Evening in the Park committee selects bands that have a “variety that will appeal to a wide range of people,” Hemming said. In addition to the music, each night is themed. During the July 24 evening, the night will feature a health and safety theme with the Rocklin Police Department on site giving child identification kits to kids, information on bike helmet safety and the Rocklin Fire Department teaching locals to buckle up. During the Aug. 14 night, in addition to hearing the sounds of Azuar, it will also be teacher appreciation night with the first 100 teachers receiving a bag full of free merchandise from local businesses. “It just gives a great sense of community, what Rocklin is all about,” Hemming said. “It’s free and it’s just what I think should happen in Rocklin’s parks.” Karen and Dan Van Bogaert of Rocklin had their shoes off, blanket down and lawn chairs out for last Friday’s concert. They brought dinner and ate while listening to Stealin’ Time. Having moved from Los Angeles, the Van Bogaerts said Evenings in the Park are a nice change of pace from the Los Angeles area. “Rocklin is very idyllic,” Karen said. The two said it was their first time coming to an Evening in the Park this year, but seemed to be prepared, with a cooler full of food and chairs set up to listen. “Life doesn’t get any better,” Dan said. Know and Go What: Evening in the Park When: 7 p.m., July 24 featuring Whiskey Dawn and 7 p.m., Aug. 14 with Azuar Where: Johnson-Springview Park, 5480 5th St. Cost: Free Placer Herald’s Lauren Weber can be reached at laurenw@goldcountrymedia.com.