Concerts in the Park series kicks off July 8

June 5, 2009

By Jim Feehan

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The Senate will be in session this summer at Newcastle.

The Seattle-based rock group will be among six bands performing at this year’s Concerts in the Park.

Members of the band HiWatt will be among the featured performers at this year’s Concerts in the Park series at Lake Boren Park. By Rick Takagi

Members of the band HiWatt will be among the featured performers at this year’s Concerts in the Park series at Lake Boren Park. By Rick Takagi

The six-week free series at Lake Boren Park kicks off July 8 with HiWatt, a rock band that performed at last year’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration.

Up next is the Cody Rentas Band, which performs July 15. The Tacoma-based band is led by Cody Rentas, a 16-year-old electric guitar prodigy. 

The Senate, which opened for Everclear in 2007 and placed first at Washington State University’s Battle of the Bands competition in 2007, performs July 22.

Timeless Soul, a band that has appeared several times at Newcastle Days and at Concerts in the Park, will offer Motown favorites July 29. 

Black Velvet 4, a classic rock-and-blues band from Kirkland, performs Aug. 5. 

The concert series concludes Aug. 12 with Idol Eyez, a Seattle band that plays cover versions of pop, rock and disco hits from the past 40 years.

Concerts begin at 6:30 p.m.

“We’re very picky about the bands we book,” said Jules Maas, special events producer for the city. “We don’t book crappy bands.” 

Maas said she listens to demo tapes and MySpace Web sites. She also likes to see the bands in person if possible.

“With the downed economy people are looking for free things that are close to home,” Maas said.

The city of Newcastle and the YMCA of Greater Seattle are sponsoring the concert series.

Due to a lack of corporate sponsorship, the city will not host the popular Moonlight Movies on a large inflatable screen at Lake Boren Park, Maas said.

Valley Medical Center and the city will host a Fourth of July fireworks celebration. From 8-10 p.m. July 4, the Issaquah band AstroCats will be featured on the main stage, followed by the fireworks display.

Newcastle Days, celebrating its 15th anniversary, will be held Sept. 12-13.

The lineup of performers for the festival has yet to be firmed up, Maas said. 

The vintage car show will be back again the festival’s second day.

“Newcastle Days is our biggest event of the year and it’s a celebration of who we are,” Maas said.  

The festival includes live bands and other entertainers, dance performances, food and crafts booths, and a car show.

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