WATSONVILLE — For the third year, the City of Watsonville is inviting the community for a series of summer concerts in the Plaza.
A diverse lineup of artists are scheduled to play every other Thursday at 6 p.m., featuring genres ranging from jazz and banda to rock and classical. Things kick off tomorrow with Banda Sirys and Fiera Norteña, and end with a special concert from the Santa Cruz Symphony on September 19.
“It’s a way to draw people downtown, to come and enjoy some good music while also supporting local businesses,” said Israel Tirado, Recreation Coordinator for the City of Watsonville. “People always think of North County for this kind of thing. We want to bring it to Watsonville.”
Tirado said that past years have been well attended, and that so far feedback has been very positive.
“For some reason there’s a perception in this county that downtown Watsonville isn’t safe,” he said. “But that’s not the reality. People regularly come downtown and have great time. There are hardly any incidents. Everyone is just there to relax and have fun.”
Tirado hopes that local downtown businesses will gradually become more involved.
“We’ve been trying to get them to join in,” he said, “to offer specials, or any kind of incentive around the time of the concert. We want them to play a bigger role.”
A total of seven concerts are planned to take place throughout the summer. People are urged to bring a lawn chair and set up with family and friends on the Plaza lawn for the show, and grab a bite at one of the nearby restaurants.
As for this year’s diverse artist lineup this summer, Tirado said it has been a work in progress for a while. Watsonville City Councilman Aurelio Gonzalez, in particular, was instrumental in organizing the Santa Cruz Symphony concert in September.
“I think that will be a great addition,” Tirado said. “It’s different than what we’ve done before. We’re always looking to do new things.”
Tirado thanked sponsors of the series: Mid Bay Ford, Monterey Bay Jeep and Driscoll’s. He added that the city hired promoters to help with the event this year, including Alegría Musical, iHeart Media and other local radio stations.
“All of this wouldn’t be possible without their support,” he said. “We’re really grateful.”
Music in the Plaza 2019 schedule:
June 20: Banda Zirys & Fiera Nortena
July 11: Tribute to Selena with Impacto 5
July 25: Beat Street Band
August 8: Jonny Harpin & The Groove Hounds
August 22: Zebop Tribute to Santana
September 5: Organizacion Mix Tropical
September 19: Santa Cruz Symphony