Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Musicians, movies and more in downtown parks

SEATTLE – Mayor Greg Nickels today announced the lineup of entertainers who have received permits to perform in downtown parks this month.

The Center City Busker Program is part of Nickels’ Center City strategy for making downtown parks livelier and more welcoming with musicians, dancers, and other street performers.

“Bringing music to our parks is just one way we’re making Seattle’s open spaces even better,” said Nickels. “It’s all part of making our parks safer, cleaner and more engaging to the thousands of people who live and visit downtown.”

Throughout the summer, buskers will appear in Freeway, Hing Hay, Westlake, Waterfront, and Cal Anderson parks, and in Pioneer Square and Occidental Square. In May, park visitors will enjoy acoustic blues and reggae by Marc Mollan; a mix of styles by Amber Tide; the lively accordion of Kenneth Lynn; Ian Dobson playing steel drums, as well as salsa, world music and much more.

Besides musicians, the city and its many partners will present public events in Occidental Square, Hing Hay Park, Freeway Park, Pioneer Square, Westlake Park, Waterfront Park, Lake Union Park, Victor Steinbrueck Park, and Cal Anderson Park. There will be outdoor movies, “Out to Lunch” concerts, festivals such as the Fire Festival and the Chinatown-International District Summer Festival, arts and crafts shows, farmers’ markets, games, classes, and food events.

The strategy for bringing more people into downtown parks was developed by the Mayor’s Center City Task Force, a group of community leaders who worked for a year to develop the 2006 recommendations. Progress to date includes improvements to Occidental Square, Freeway Park, Waterfront Park, and Lake Union Park; the hiring of park rangers who will patrol and provide a positive presence in downtown parks; and a vigorous schedule of engaging activities in these parks.

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