Wednesday, August 13, 2014


     I think I have mentioned before that this place called Coronado is a little bit surreal at times. One of the unique things about this place of 26,000 are the Sunday night Concerts In-The-Park that are held throughout the summer.
     Spreckels Park, located in the center of Coronado, is the setting. On Sunday nights it is full of music lovers, many of whom like to dance as well. There are of plenty of children who seem to congregate around the playground. There are no seats provided and no vendors selling food. Rather, just about everyone brings their own fold-up chair, and picnic. Groups gather around the center stage which is a picturesque old-fashioned bandstand. Many of these people have been gathering together with friends and family and sitting in the same location for years. Getting the right spot to this popular event isn't easy, and the locals know they must arrive about 3 pm to set up their chairs to reserve their favorite place. They return later for the concert.
     Ron and I decided to walk to the popular Rockola Concert this week. We felt like we were somewhat “with it” because we were carrying our newly purchased Walmart folding chairs. They even had a case so we could swing them over our shoulders. By the time we arrived, the park was full so we set our chairs up at the outer edge facing the stage. The sound was great, and the people-watching couldn't have been better. The music began at 6 pm and by the time they stopped playing, after at least four encores, it was close to 8.
We drove by the park about an hour later, and there were still many people socializing on this perfect summer evening, enhanced by a supermoon. Some might have been waiting for the traffic to subside due to the backup to get onto the Coronado bridge to return to San Diego and beyond.
     The concert series was established in 1970. Through the years it has been the venue for some well-known groups including The Kingston Trio, which reunited here after 20 years, in June 1989. Nick Reynolds (1933-2008), one of the founding members, is a native and graduate of Coronado high school (class of 1951).
     In my opinion, attendees are a little bit classier than the group you might observe at an average picnic someplace in America. Even the food and wine (yes, wine is allowed in the park for this event) looked a bit more upscale. If you need a food suggestion, refer to the local website “There's a Newf in my Soup” that gives a weekly culinary theme centering around the music for the evening. You can also have pizza or KFC delivered to your "spot," providing you fly a balloon and specify a color so they can find you. 
     Spreckels Park was established in 1927. It was one of many generous donations made by John D. Spreckels (1853-1926) to Coronado.The bandstand was built in 1982 with contributions from the community. It is a beautiful parkland to enjoy at any time, and is home to dozens of species of trees including the Torrey pine, magnolia, eucalyptus, queen palm, and many more. There are over 150 species of trees growing on Coronado—a tree lover's paradise. 

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