Ruth Weber (left) and Emilia Lopez-Yanez, a mother-daughter singing duo, will perform Aug. 1 as part of Everett’s series of children’s concerts. (Grant Parlett)

Ruth Weber (left) and Emilia Lopez-Yanez, a mother-daughter singing duo, will perform Aug. 1 as part of Everett’s series of children’s concerts. (Grant Parlett)

What to do with the kids? Give free summer concerts a whirl

Hear Caspar Babypants, Recess Monkey and much more in Everett and Marysville.

It’s summertime. And Everett and Marysville have some answers to that annual seasonal question: What to do with the kids?

Free children’s concerts are scheduled in both cities, where some well-known names will be seen on stage (Caspar Babypants) as well as some performers appearing locally for the first time.

“It’s one hour of just pure fun,” said Lisa Newland, cultural arts coordinator in Everett, where a seven-week series of concerts for kids kicks off next week.

The concerts are a three-decade-long tradition in Everett, beginning first in Forest Park, then moving to American Legion Memorial Park before settling into its current home at Thornton A. Sullivan Park on Silver Lake.

“When you have a huge mosh pit filled with toddlers and older 7- and 8-year olds dancing around, it’s just a great way to start a Thursday morning in the summer,” Newland said.

One of those first-time performances will be by the mother-daughter team Ruth and Emilia, who will be seen on stage in Everett on Aug. 1.

Their music includes titles such as “I’m Smart on Safety,” “Where Do I Live” and “Repair the World.”

It also will be the first time Joanie Leeds from New York City is performing in Everett. Her tunes include “Life is a Joyful Adventure” and “I Am A Rock Star and Good Egg.”

“It’s nice to mix up our music series,” Newland said.

The list of well-known groups returning to Everett include the Not-Its!, Recess Monkey and, of course, Caspar Babypants.

The Pacific Northwest is known as an area with outstanding groups who perform for children, Newland said.

“So it’s fun to integrate these other bands from the East Coast or farther south and change the lineup a little bit.”

Other performers include Eric Herman and the Thunder Puppies, known for their rendition of “Bubble Wrap.”

“Kids are jumping up and down the whole time,” Newland said. “He just has this great way of engaging the kids, but even more so the adults get into it, too.”

Much the same can be said for Caspar Babypants aka Chris Ballew, former lead singer for The Presidents of the United States of America.

Don’t underestimate kids’ ability to have studied the performers’ playlist. “These kids know their bands,” Newland said. “They will make requests for certain songs. It’s very cute.”

Three children’s concerts are scheduled in Marysville, beginning July 10 at Lions Centennial Pavilion in Jennings Memorial Park.

The series begins with Eric Haines, a man who can do just about anything you can imagine on stage. He wears a big bass drum on his back, plays a harmonica, banjo, horns and cymbals.

And that’s not all. His act also include comedy, juggling, marionettes and musical tricks, said Lauren Woodmansee, cultural arts supervisor for Marysville.

“He’ll transition from one thing to another,” she said. “Yes, he’s a one-man show.”

The Brian Waite trio performs on July 24, music that will get the whole family dancing, Woodmansee said. The group, formed in 2001, has produced eight albums.

It’s the first time the group has performed at the children’s concerts in Marysville.

Recess Monkey is returning to the series for the third time in five years. The three-member group of current and former teachers puts on a high-energy shown and is known a crowd favorite in the Northwest, Woodmansee said.

Their work has been nominated for a Grammy Award.

“They’re a huge Northwest draw, and we’re really excited to have them back and closing out our series,” she said.

Sharon Salyer:425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com.

If you go

Everett’s free series of children’s concerts are from 10 to 11 a.m. on Thursdays from July 11 through Aug. 22 at Thornton A. Sullivan Park, 11405 Silver Lake Road, Everett. Go to www.everettwa.gov/808/Childrens-Concert-Series for more information.

July 11: The Not-Its!

July 18: Recess Monkey

July 25: Brian Waite Band

Aug. 1: Ruth & Emilia

Aug. 8: Joanie Leeds

Aug. 15: Caspar Babypants

Aug. 23: Eric Herman and the Thunder Puppies

Marysville’s series of children’s concerts are at noon on Wednesdays, July 10, July 24 and Aug. 7, at Lions Centennial Pavilion in Jennings Memorial Park, 6915 Armar Road, Marysville. Call 360-363-8400 or go to www.marysvillewa.gov/517/Sounds-of-Summer-Concerts.

July 10: Eric Haines

July 24: Brian Waite Band

Aug. 7: Recess Monkey

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