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Lazy 5 concert series rocks through summer
by Garrett E. Valenzuela
Aug 02, 2013 | 1809 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- The Mountain Girls play through some folk and alternative country music Wednesday afternoon at Lazy 5 Regional Park as part of the Summer Concert Series. The event is a weekly occasion for local families to enjoy free music and food in Sparks.
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- The Mountain Girls play through some folk and alternative country music Wednesday afternoon at Lazy 5 Regional Park as part of the Summer Concert Series. The event is a weekly occasion for local families to enjoy free music and food in Sparks.
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Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Increase in enthusiasm from concert goers this summer led Washoe County and Lazy 5 Regional Park to extend the Summer Concert Series through August 28.
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Increase in enthusiasm from concert goers this summer led Washoe County and Lazy 5 Regional Park to extend the Summer Concert Series through August 28.
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Barbara Borges began planning the first Summer Concert Series at Lazy 5 Regional Park in Sparks nine years ago. The idea for a few local musical acts to play a free show in the large Spanish Springs park has blossomed to a point Borges had not previously expected.

She knew the community would enjoy it. She knew some locals would be repeat visitors. What the Lazy 5 Park Ranger could not account for was organizations other than Washoe County Regional Parks seeing the need and opportunity to bring residents out to enjoy the facility.

“It has been a request of our concert goers to extend the season,” Borges said Wednesday after successfully extending the season through August 28. “We were able to start a little earlier this year simply because we had greater support from the sponsors, and that is going to help us even more as we extend the series.”

Summit Christian Church has been the series sponsor for five consecutive years and Borges said other sponsors like Laurie Brazier of State Farm, Pack N Post in Spanish Springs and First Independent Bank have been supporting the Summer Concert Series since the beginning. She said the evolution of the event resembles the crowd participation throughout the summer.

“Our early concerts are a little slimmer in attendance, but as soon as the word gets out and  people realize they are happening, they come in droves,” Borges said. “The last concert (July 24) we had 938 concert goers, and I expect a great crowd every night.”

Concerts are held every Wednesday night beginning at 6:30 p.m. and feature acts such as The Refiners, Colin Ross Band, Contraband and The Bystanders with Katy Simon for the remainder of the summer. Music from these groups ranges from bluegrass and alternative country to blues to folk country and more, which Borges said gives a good mix for families to enjoy the evening outdoors.

“The concert series draws families,” Borges said. “It is a very friendly environment, there are some old growth trees that provide a nice place to relax and enjoy a picnic dinner, and you have some free entertainment while the children can also play in the park and enjoy their time with the family.”

Summit Christian Church provides free hamburgers or hot dogs for those in attendance and raffle prizes are offered every show which include, among other things, overnight stays in local resorts and dining packages throughout the city. The event has grown so large, according to Borges, that new local businesses have hitched to the event such as Sierra Pacific Power Company, NV Energy and Sparks’ own Western Village.

Borges oversees all of Lazy 5’s attractions, including the popular water play park, across its 85 acres of land. She said the community center, playground equipment and multi-purpose sporting field offer a great variety for residents, but she is sure there will be more added in the future.

“Nine years ago I was hired when they opened the water play park at Lazy 5,” she said, “And at that time parks were doing really well. We had great community support and we were able to offer more services to the community.

“I know that our park will grow in the future and there are plans for development in the park, but nothing specific in programming that I have heard of. We are still holding our own, so to speak, in the parks department but I am sure we will find some new events in the future.”

Until then Borges said she is content with managing the park and the Summer Concert Series given the amount of friendly relationships she has established with local families, who have attended the event in full each summer.

“The best part is seeing the numbers of people come in and enjoy the evening,” Borges said. “I enjoy visiting with some of our returning patrons, who have been coming since the beginning of the concerts, whom I have gotten to know. It is just a great resource for everybody to come together and I feel like am a part of this community.

“I am very happy to provide the service to the community and I know it is greatly appreciated. I was extremely happy with the turnout of sponsorships this year and it has been a really great summer.”
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