by PAT MURDOCK
Special to The Mercury
A new location with a larger stage await the musical acts that will perform at San Marcos’ Independence Day celebration Friday, July 4.
Live music on the San Marcos River is a traditional element of San Marcos’ 4th of July Summerfest celebration. The free community-wide, kid-friendly Independence Day celebration is moving to the City of San Marcos’ San Marcos Plaza Park this year. The 2008 musical line up, headlined by the high-energy, all-age-appeal Austin band JUMPSTART, will feature a variety of genres, with both popular covers and enticing originals.
Opening the musical entertainment at 4 p.m., Alton Rex and the Crabby Grass Boys will be making their fourth Summerfest appearance. Labeling their sound “old time family music,” the group’s music is a combination of bluegrass and country, with a health dose of Cajun blues and some traditional Mexican songs.
The group includes Rex on guitar and vocals, Bruce Jones on bass guitar, Chris Beirne who plays acoustic guitar, lap steel, dobro and harmonica and sings, and Ron Knuth on fiddle and mandolin.
San Marcos native David Ybarra and his LA Blues Band will take the Summerfest stage at 6:15 p.m., immediately following the Patriotic Program. Ybarra has played at Summerfest with one band or another since the early 1980s.
Ybarra plays saxophone to lead his group in a crowd-pleasing array of mostly classic rock and pop favorites. Jazz, pop, blues, rock, even a smidgen of country – Ybarra and the LA Blues Band can play it all, and they do. In addition to Ybarra, who plays the sazaphone, the LA Blues Band includes lead vocalist Bruce Banks, Chuck “Midnight” Crow on bass guitar, Todd Frenzel on keyboards and vocals, Rick Gallegos on trombone, Kevin Coleman on guitar, Charles Reyna on trumpet and Clay “The Fireman” Rynlander on drums. Banks will stay on stage to sing during the patriotic program.
JUMPSTART will play its popular music mix from 8 to 9:30 p.m., leading up to Summerfest’s expanded fireworks exhibition. Since 1988, JUMPSTART has been entertaining a wide variety of audiences. The nine-piece ensemble features a full horn section, dynamic rhythm section and male and female lead vocalists.\
Come enjoy an extraordinary pre-fireworks musical treat featuring Mike “Style” Murillo (guitar and keys), Lisa Marie (lead vocals and percussion), Joe Pacheco (lead vocals), Leroy Rodriguez (keyboards and accordion), Bruce “Batman” Wayne (drums), John Koehler (Bass), John Burton (trumpet and vocals), Ulrican “Hurricane” Williams (trombone and vocals) and Syd. Polk (barri, tenor and alto sax). Murillo, Pacheco, Rodriguez and Wayne graduated from Texas State University. Pacheco, Rodriguez and Wayne are San Marcos natives.
Closing the day for Summerfest with a performance immediately after the fireworks is the local band Trio-Faze, which plays a mix of original rock, soul and blues. Trio-Faze, which formed in 2004, is composed of David G. Prado on vocals and lead guitar, Charlie Rodriguez on bass guitar and Phil Avila on drums.The community-wide Independence Day festival capitalizes on its scenic San Marcos River setting. There is no charge for admission.
Summerfest is made possible by a partnership between the City of San Marcos, the San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department, the San Marcos Convention and Visitor Bureau and the San Marcos Noon Lions Club. Participating Sponsors include Time Warner Cable, Frost Bank, Allied Waste Services (Austin), Tanger Outlet Center, Goodrich Aerostructures and Pecan Park Campground.
Serving their first year as co-chairs for Summerfest are San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department Recreation Manager Lisa Morris and San Marcos Convention and Visitor Bureau Director Rebecca Ybarra-Ramirez.
With a contribution of in-kind design and webmaster services provided by Josiesque Designs, Summerfest has a significantly improved website at summerfestsanmarcos.com.
The 9:30 p.m. fireworks exhibition – bigger than ever this year – will be staged from the parking lot on the west side of Bobcat Stadium on the Texas State University-San Marcos campus.
Food and activity booths will open at 4 p.m. A variety of food and other items will be available from on-site vendors. A children’s parade and patriotic costume contest and a patriotic program are included on the Summerfest schedule. No glass containers are allowed at San Marcos Plaza Park.
Parking for Summerfest will be available at Texas State’s Bobcat Stadium and Coliseum parking lots. The Lions Club’s tube rental at City Park will be open for business all day.
For general information on Summerfest, contact the San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department at (512) 393-8400 or the San Marcos Convention and Visitor Bureau at (512) 393-5900.Email | Print