ATASCADERO — If it seemed like the entire City of Atascadero took a quick breather after the weekend of automotive events starting Aug. 16. There was plenty of anecdotal evidence from local hospitality businesses to back up the premise.
Parents and children still had plenty to keep them entertained come Saturday, Aug. 24 though with the City’s Saturday in the Park - 2019 Summer Concert Series held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The JD Project held court at the Atascadero Lake Park Bandstand with a larger audience than usual as kids overflowed the playground and raced up the sides of the Lake’s overflow culvert to burn off excess energy while adults filled the nearby hillside with blankets and chairs and, generally proceeded to eat, drink, and be merry.
While opportunities to enjoy music in that setting have been numerous this year, over at the Sunken Gardens in front of the community’s picturesque City Hall members of the town’s recreation and events team set up an inflatable movie screen for a showing of “Captain Marvel.”
The third in a series of four Saturday films scheduled to wait for dark just after 8 p.m. in the park.
There are three more concerts in the park planned to round out summer 2019, Aug. 31 — The Rockin’ B’s Band (Rock/Country/Blues); Sept. 7 — Stellar Band (Rock/Country); and Sept. 14 — Soundhouse (Rock/Country/R&B).
But only one more showing of a film in the park this year, with the modern revival of “Dumbo.” The tale of a young elephant with oversized ears and the power of flight was remade along with a slew of other Disney properties this year and the City has purchased the rights to display it for the night.
That showing will coincide Aug. 31 with a City-sponsored “Lion King Day at the Charles Paddock Zoo” starting at 10:30 a.m. with Zookeeper talks held throughout to showcase a few of the Zoo’s animals whose distant relatives were featured in the “Lion King” movie.
The first 80 children that enter the Zoo on the day will get an official Lion King Activity Booklet.
While the City is intentionally highlighting Disney films for the Aug. 31 events, an unintentional theme during the Aug. 24 “Captain Marvel” showing was perseverance.
The intriguing sci-fi adventure story wrapped in the trappings of a comic book tie-in film had more obvious undercurrents for adults in the audience, with a plot emphasizing the human spirit overcoming adversity with compassion.
Even if children in the audience nodded off on their blankets under the stars before the film’s climax, Atascadero’s event staffers showed some grit of their own to get the movie equipment working for the night after technology threw them a curveball.
A new DVD player, and hopefully a backup module, have been requisitioned for the “Dumbo” showing.
As has been the norm for the movie nights, snacks and refreshments will be available again as a community service from parishioners at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. One dollar buys anything on offer from soda and hot chocolate, to homemade smore-cookies and small bags of popcorn.
The City’s last big summer event will be Sept. 20-21 with the 4th Annual Showdown Cornhole Tournament in the Sunken Gardens.