A new event is driving the public into Centennial Park for music, food and local vendors.
Parks Alive is a free summer music series curated by RE/MAX and sponsors alike. The event brings local and out-of-town acts together in one spot, for one purpose – banding the community together.
“We have that great stage and this town gets sleepy after hours. It’s nice to do something where everybody can come out and have some fun,” said David Jurek, owner of the 100 Mile House RE/MAX branch. “This is the first time we’ve had something like this on the new stage.”
The first of the three-part series was held last Wednesday that featured local act, Front Porch, a South Cariboo bluegrass band. The evening also included three musicians from Prince George. There was Naomi Kavka, a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with a folk-like sound. Kavka is no stranger to 100 Mile House. She has performed at a few gigs in and around town.
“I love performing in 100 Mile House,” said Kavka. “The community is so kind and supportive. Despite the wild weather that was happening, we had a great turn out.”
Along with Kavka, there was Saltwater Hank, a folk-singing musician and Danny Bell, an accordion-based singer-songwriter. The series will also feature the local farmers market and food vendors.
“We had the first event but the weather scared the farmers market for that evening but the market will be there at the next one,” said Jurek.
Jurek said a similar event happens on a weekly basis in Williams Lake on Thursday nights.
Getting out-of-town acts to come to 100 Mile can sometimes be challenging but with the event in Williams Lake, Jurek has been able to get some acts to stop in town on their way to Williams Lake.
“People seemed really excited about something happening in the park,” said Jurek. “It’s nice to bring the town together and again, the area we live in is a great area. It’s nice to have something going on, on a regular basis and a reason for everybody to get together. The town gets sleepy and we have that amazing park. It’s nice to have a reason to go there and do more.”
Kavka said public music exhibitions such as Parks Alive not only benefits the musicians but the communities as well.
“As a touring artist, it is a wonderful opportunity to play for families and be outside and get to share my music with a different audience,” said Kavka. “The entire event was so wholesome and fun. Parks are meant for gatherings like that and what better way to facilitate that than with music. I really hope this series continues and those similar ones begin happening in every community.
I would love to come back and perform any time, I don’t have any immediate plans but you can expect to see me again soon.”
Jurek said they planned three events to see how the community responds. If the event is liked all around, it is something the town can expect next summer, but potentially on a weekly basis.
“There have been so many great sponsors who have chipped in to make this event happen for the community,” said Jurek.
The second Parks Alive event will take place on Aug. 7 in Centennial Park from 5 to 8 p.m.