Celebrate summer’s sizzling start this weekend

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Sunday marks the first official day of summer and, after some gray skies and cooler temperatures in recent days, the weather’s finally acting more like the foothills should feel this time of year. That said, there are plenty of reasons to kick off summer with some outdoor festivities. Here are some of this weekend’s highlights. Party in the Park Auburn Recreation District kicks off the weekend with Party in the Park, an outdoor evening of live music and family fun at Regional Park. Why head out to the party? One word — Free. Want more than that? Kate Gaffney kicks off the party at 5:30 p.m., followed by The Waybacks at 7:30 p.m. Gaffney, from Sacramento via Pennsylvania, is, as Auburn Recreation District’s Scott Holbrook described her “a semi-acoustic folk-female jam band.” The Waybacks, formerly the backup band for Bob Weir, guitarist and founding member of The Grateful Dead, play an eclectic mix of originals and covers. The four-piece band consists of guitarist James Nash, bassist Joe Kyle Jr., drummer Chuck Hamilton and fiddler and mandolin player Warren Hood. In addition to live music, Party in the Park also boasts more than 30 vendors, water slides and a beer and wine garden. Keeping with the community-friendly vibe of the event, a good portion of the vendors are nonprofits. Community groups like the Auburn Host Lions and the E.V. Cain Middle School D.C. Troopers, all hoping to raise funds for local programs. Regional Park is located at 3770 Richardson Drive in Auburn. Learn all about the party at or by calling (530) 885-8461. World Music Day Auburn, hosts its first World Music Day from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday the School Park Preserve, located on High Street behind Auburn City Hall. World Music Day is a worldwide free, live music celebration where amateur and professional musicians perform in public places. World Music Day, or Fete de la Musique, began in France on June 21, 1982, as a spontaneous event to bring people out on the streets to play and enjoy music. Auburn’s World Music Day celebration includes a little something for everyone. Performers include hot gypsy swing by Jazz Gitan at 4 p.m.; jazz and swing tunes by In Full Swing; the ukuleles of Nuked Ukes; Nada Brahma Music Ensemble’s Indian classical music at noon; singer-songwriter John Paulsen; bluegrass with Bud Bautista, Tad Kitada and friends; singer-songwriter Rod Tompkins; and a drum circle led by Eric Chun and friends. Gary Bowman will perform pieces from his Song of the Oceans and Song of the Animals. Gary Campbell and Friends perform country swing at 3 p.m. If you like the dulcimer, keep an ear out for Patti Ward-Ratcliffe at noon or Elizabeth Townsend, playing Gaelic dulcimer music at 3 p.m. Other musicians include multi-instrumentalist Rick Dean, singer/songwriter Melonnee Desiree, TJ Wrightly Band, jazz improv trio Breez, rap by The Lifters, Dave Swart and friends, the rock and pop of Hero’s Last Mission, Darlene Viggiano on the dumbek and Fred Knox, with Irish bodhran and concertina. Auburn’s World Music Day is presented by PlacerArts in cooperation with Auburn Arts Commission and Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center. For information visit or call (530) 885-5670. Auburn Family Night Out Once the tunes of the World Music Day have come to an end, keep the fun going by meandering over to the 10th annual Auburn Family Night Out, which will be held 5-9 p.m. throughout Old Town and Downtown Auburn. The Auburn Recreation District underwrites the event this year, with all net proceeds benefiting their youth programs. This mile-long event promises to have something for everyone. Grab a map and a passport and get to work—completed passports qualify visitors for prizes. Entertainment includes strolling musicians, a historical display of wagons at the Auburn Historic Courthouse, a health and safety fair behind Auburn City Hall, rock climbing, pony rides, the Placer County SPCA Pet Mobile, a petting zoo, face painting, Never Cry Wolf rescue and more. Pioneer Methodist Church will provide a variety of food, an ice cream social and non-alcoholic beverages again this year. Two kid-friendly favorites, back by popular demand, are the Chalk-A-Lot! art contest and Recycle Costume Contest. Chalk-A-Lot! Contestants should check in at 5:15 p.m. Saturday at the Union Bank parking lot on High Street, across from the Auburn Journal. Chalk and kneepads are furnished if kids bring their creativity. Those interested in the Recycle Costume Contest — ribbons, certificates and trophies are up for grabs — should start gathering their recyclable materials now. Participants should report to the Union Bank parking lot, in costume, at 6:45 p.m. Saturday. Call (530) 888-1585, e-mail sunriver@inreach. com or visit Summer Series Enjoy live music in a relaxed, picnic-friendly environment as Auburn’s Summer Series concerts kick off Sunday with a performance by Capital Jazz Project. The Auburn Library Garden Theater is the venue for this popular summer concert series, celebrating its 21th season in 2009. Capital Jazz Project, formed in April 1997, has a current makeup of Joe Gilman on piano, Rick Lotter on drums, Henry Robinett on guitar, Kerry Kashiwagi on bass and Mike McMullen on saxophone. Sunday’s concert begins at 7 p.m. and is free. The Library Garden Theater is located at 350 Nevada St., adjacent to the Auburn Library. Bring blankets and picnics. Upcoming performances include In Full Swing on June 28, Steelin’ Dan on July 12 and Tom Rigney and Flambeau on July 19. Call PlacerArts for more information at (530) 885-5670.