MISSOULA — Between the splash pad, the ice cream truck, the beautiful sunset, and some good ole fashioned swing, Bonner Park in Missoula was the place to be Wednesday night.
Kicking off the “unofficial” start to summer was the Missoula Big Band, essentially, an auxiliary unit to the Missoula City Band.
If the rows of smiling faces said anything, Missoulians were happy to see this tradition return. The theme of the evening was swing with 1940 classics like “In the Mood” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”
Looking ahead, the Missoula City Band will perform every Wednesday at 8 p.m. for free in Bonner Park. Dogs, kids, lawn chairs, picnics, dancing, singing -- it’s all welcome at the Missoula City Band concerts.
"It’s a part of Americana," said director Gary Gillett. "This used to happen all over America 100 years ago. We've been doing this kind of shtick here in Missoula for about 140 years! It's a summer evening, everyone comes out of the house, it's free, and we'll play a wide variety of music."
Concerts last exactly an hour. If you can’t make Wednesday nights, the band rehearses in Bonner Park on Mondays and you’re welcome to check them out then.