San Marcos residents have the perfect escape this summer in their own backyard.
The Summer in the Park Concert Series takes place every Thursday evening at the San Marcos Plaza Park, and offers a variety of music acts to quench the appetite of eager crowds.
The concert series, presented by the San Marcos Performing Arts Association and the Parks and Recreation Department, is in it 22nd year and staying true to its purpose as an event for all ages.
Terri Hendrix took the stage Thursday night and entertained the laid back crowd with her blend of bluegrass, country and folk music. Hendrix has recorded 11 albums on her independent label, Wilory Records.
Arlis Hiebert, coordinator of the concert series, said they try to feature the best musical talent from the Hill country.
“Terri Hendrix is a San Marcos performer who performs widely throughout the United States,” Hiebert said. “She’s a pretty special human being from all I know. I think she’s a gracious lady as well as an accomplished performer.”
Hiebert said what makes the series important is showcasing the best of musicians who are rooted in Central Texas, and the concert variety gives people a chance to attend shows that suit their taste through the course of the summer.
“It helps with community building and is something nice to do for the people of San Marcos that people of any age and any economic level can come to,” Hiebert said.
He said the concert series is where it should be in terms of space and budget available. Their goal is to continue to find the best local musical acts and prepare for crowds of over 500 people.
“The attendance has been great despite the heat and has increased since last year,” Hiebert said. “We might break an attendance record this summer.”
Hiebert said he plans to continue having local musicians play next year.
“We’d like to have some acts return and have some new ones as well. There will always be a variety in terms of the different styles of musicians who play,” Hiebert said.
He estimated 600 people attended the concert last night.
San Marcos resident Marilyn Simonded attended the Terri Hendrix show with her husband and has been coming to the concerts for the past five years.
“It’s a great way to bring the community together,” Simonded said. “There are people of all ages here, from the little ones up to senior citizens.”
Lisa Morris, recreation manager with the San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department, said the concerts are a great way to spend time with family and friends.
“Families for 22 years have been coming out every week,” Morris said. “It’s a Thursday night tradition. People pack up a picnic, the kids play and the music is always a good variety.”
The Parks and Recreation Department supports the series with facilities and whatever else they need help with. Morris said the concerts thrive because San Marcos is such a close-knit community.
“San Marcos is still a relatively small town and the concerts are perfect for people to come together and visit while great music is playing in the background,” Morris said.
San Marcos resident Phil Elder came to the show with his 4-year-old son. He said it is a great way for the two to spend time together.
“It’s a great place to take my son and expose him to different varieties of music that he would otherwise not be exposed to,” Elder said. “It gives us a chance to do something together as a family.”
Summer in the Park concerts are every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Five shows remain featuring Zydeco Blanco, Salsa del Rio, The Patio Boys, Mariachi Nueva Generacion and Two Tons of Steel.
By HAYLEY KAPPES
Photos by Hayley Kappes