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It’s a party and you’re invited

By: Preston Carter Melbourne-Weaver Journal Correspondent
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By Preston Carter Melbourne-Weaver Journal Correspondent Thousands are expected to groove to live tunes under the trees at Friday’s free concert in Regional Park. But Party in the Park, Auburn’s premiere outdoor event of the season, is so much more. With around 36 vendors, a climbing wall, water slides, a beer and wine garden and the main event — live music — this year’s Party in the Park is sure to provide a day of fun and entertainment for the entire family. Party in the Park is designed with family and community in mind. A good portion of the vendors are there not for personal profits, but to raise money that can be turned around and spent on improving the community. Sheryl Peterson, recreation services manager for Auburn Recreation District, organized the different vendors, and is very passionate about helping her local community. “It’s an opportunity for (the vendors) to generate funds so they can turn around and give back to the community,” Peterson said. Some of the nonprofit groups participating include the Auburn Host Lions, Auburn Rotary Club, Soroptimist and the E.V. Cain D.C. Troopers. The nonprofits will be selling food and other items to raise funds to support their causes. Then of course, there is the music. Last year, the event went with a reggae theme, with headliners Tosh Meets Marley. This year, the theme is at the opposite end of the spectrum, going in a more folksy direction. Scott Holbrook, an ARD director and a self-described music enthusiast, organized the music portion of the event, and is extremely enthusiastic about this year’s bands, opener Kate Gaffney and the headliners, The Waybacks. Gaffney, from Sacramento via Pennsylvania, is, as Holbrook described her “a semi-acoustic folk-female jam band.” Holbrook first saw her during an acoustic set and wasn’t feeling she had the right style for a Party in the Park, but by chance saw her again that same night with her full band and was impressed. “Instantly, the decision was made,” Holbrook said. “I wanted to share her music with Party in the Park fans.” Then there’s The Waybacks, a and whose sound is so unique, a proper genre label could not possible describe them. Formerly the backup band for Bob Weir, guitarist and founding member of The Greatful Dead, the Waybacks can go from covering Led Zeppelin tunes to their own original more folk-inspired music. They are a four-piece band, consisting of guitarist James Nash, bassist Joe Kyle Jr., drummer Chuck Hamilton and fiddler and mandolin player Warren Hood. To hear a preview of The Waybacks’ style, tune into KVMR from 1 to 3 this afternoon, when James Nash playing some tunes solo. Holbrook is very confident that all who attend this year’s Party in the Park will be very satisfied with the music. “(The Waybacks) are in high demand, and everyone will find out why then they come to Party in the Park,” Holbrook said. -------------------- Party in the Park What: An outdoor concert with food, beer and more When: 5 p.m. Friday, June 19 Where: Regional Park, Richardson Drive, Auburn For whom: Everyone Info: (530) 885-8461