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Outdoor concerts add family fun to downtown Bellingham

The band Polecat plays at the Downtown Sounds Summer Concert on Bay Street on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 in Bellingham.
The band Polecat plays at the Downtown Sounds Summer Concert on Bay Street on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 in Bellingham. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

Last December, Amanda Grove, recreation coordinator for Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department, and Lindsey Payne, events manager for Downtown Bellingham Partnership, let me know that our fair city had received a terrific grant from Levitt Pavilions, a national nonprofit with the mission of strengthening the social fabric of America through the power of free live music.

In seeking the grant, Grove wrote “Bellingham is rich with character and its citizens value public spaces and the arts. The LevittAMP Bellingham Music Series will target key areas of our downtown prioritized for improvement and revitalization.”

In addition, she said, the revitalization of Maritime Heritage Park, at Holly Street and Central Avenue, is a priority of the city, and the music series will be a key component in programming this year designed to increase community use of the park.

Payne said that the grant will help the partnership afford to produce Downtown Sounds, now in its 11th year, while improving logistics.

“We lose money on these free concerts every year as the series continues to flourish and expand,” she said.

The lineup for concerts in the1300 block of Bay Street and at the park was recently announced. All of the concerts are free and family-friendly.

Downtown Sounds concerts open at 5:30 p.m. and feature food vendors and a wine-and-beer garden with beverages from Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro.

July 1: Third World with Yogoman opening

July 8: Acorn Project with McTuff opening

July 15: Polecat with The New Triumph opening

July 22: Ayron Jones and the Way with The Scott Pemberton Trio opening

July 29: Five Alarm Funk with Baby Cakes opening

Maritime Heritage Park concerts start at 11:30 a.m. Food vendors will be on site.

Aug. 7: Swil Kanim

Aug. 14: Wild Rabbit

Aug. 21: West My Friend

Aug. 28: Lobo del Mar

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