By Melanie Rainone and Despina Durand
The weekend starts early if you happen to be in the downcity area on a Thursday afternoon with the Burnside Park Music Series and Beer Garden, put on by Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy. By day, the park hosts activities geared towards children and by night the park is taken over by live music, good food, and local brews.
Jennifer Smith, the programming director with DPPC, expressed excitement for what this event represents. She especially likes the way that people from all walks of life mix to create a vibrant audience at the events in Burnside Park.
“We get politicians down, people from RISD, average joes and joe-elles. And that mix is so awesome for me, I think this is the crossroads of Rhode Island and where it all comes together,” Smith said. “We’re building a lovely, close knit community where we are all in this together.”
Smith feels that food trucks, a growing industry in Rhode Island, provide an fantastic way to support entrepreneurship in a growing economy. Local food truck staples like Mama Kim’s, Rocket Fine Street Food, and Mijos Tacos led the way for the food trucks that have now become regulars at the music series. Trinity Brewhouse as a sponsor and partner provides local refreshment. In the spirit of summer, Trinity offers not only beers and wine, but margaritas on tap.
This past Thursday’s programming featured local band The Sugar Honey Iced Tea, an all female vocal quartet with ukulele and guitar accompaniment. Patrons of the event had the opportunity to listen to folk music while enjoying pretzel roll sandwich creations from the Noble Knot and dairy-free, frozen goodness from Like No Udder.
Reba Mitchell, the music series music director, is excited for the upcoming acts, especially their summer blowout to bring the series to a close on Sep. 19 with Grupo Sazon. With another six weeks to go, the opportunities for good food, cold beer, and great music seem nearly endless.
Mitchell summed up the spirit of the event by describing the event as being, “Everything at its best. A city at its best, downtown at its best, and summer at its best.”
The line-up for the upcoming weeks features Girls Rock! ft Gltter Ghost and Neon Boots, Debo Band, Death Vessel, What Cheer Brigade, HomeBody, and M.A.K.U Soundsystem.