The stage was set in the front, with live music from the band EveryLeaf playing across the speakers. Both young and old had gathered at Beaver Lake Park, some with their four-legged friends, to embrace the festive atmosphere.
After a very tough year, the residents of Sammamish finally got to enjoy a sense of community at an outdoor concert on Thursday. The city’s parks and recreation department kicked off their series of summer outdoor events with Concerts in the Park.
An active group of volunteers in blue t-shirts stood outside the gate, welcoming people to the first of many concerts the city is hosting this summer.
The event was complemented by an Italian food truck just outside the entrance gate, serving savory sausage sandwiches.
Lynne Handlos, Sammamish’s recreation supervisor, said the inspiration for this concert series was always to create a space to meet strangers and “instill the feeling of belonging to the community.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling all city events in 2020, attendees to this year’s first concert were finally able to enjoy some normality.
Alina Martin, 32, took the opportunity to meet some friends after a long hiatus.
“I am meeting my neighbors after so long and we have been waiting for this since the beginning of summer,” Martin said. “It is a great place to hang out where the kids can play and we adults can sit back and relax with friends.”
Katherine Hall, 52, started grooving to a peppy number along with her friends.
“What better than to dance, on such a beautiful day with friends after what feels like long,” Hall said.
Handlos said concerts this year have been moved to the Beaver Lake ballfields so that there would be enough space for social distancing.
The bands are all local, and recommended by word of mouth to the city, which then chooses the acts to book to bring a variety of musical genres, Handlos said.
12-year-old Lily Bran was walking hand-in-hand with her sister through the park.
“Now it does feel like summer,” she said.