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Community members participated in one of the Paint in the Parks events. Photo submitted

The city of Cambridge’s Summer Parks Program encourages community members and families to get out and explore the community while engaging with others and to make memories that will last a lifetime.

According to event coordinator Administrative Assistant to the City Administrator Jennifer Cole, the summer’s events are geared toward all ages, and with such a wide variety of offerings, there’s something for everyone.

“The idea is to get people out to enjoy our beautiful park system,” Cole said. “We are doing three different paint parties to start off city park events; they are on Thursday nights in June. These events do require registration, either online, by calling or by filling out a paper form, and have a minimal cost for supplies.”

On June 6, the city’s Arts in the Parks event kicked off with an adult paint party hosted by Ashley Messer with Creative Studio 23. On June 13, Messer will host a Seniors Paint Party, and then on June 20 a Parent/Child Party.

Following the Arts in the Parks, also in June, July and August, is Park Positivity for Kids events, which began on June 11 with outdoor games and healthy snacks at the city park. The event will continue on June 18 from noon to 2 p.m. with Sidewalk Chalk and Picnic at Central Green Park; July 9 from noon to 1 p.m. there will be Kids Yoga in the Park, also at Central Green Park; July 16 a Nature Scavenger Hunt will be held from noon to 2 p.m. at Brown Park; from noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 6 will be a Rock Painting & Picnic at City Park; and on Aug. 13 there will be another Kids Yoga in the Park from noon to 1 p.m. at Central Green Park.

“We received a charitable contribution from Allina to put on this program, which is amazing, so we are hoping to use these events to bring people together out into the parks and promote health within our community,” Cole said. “We really want to expose kids to healthy activities so we do have two yoga in the parks events for them, one in July and one in August.”

Restorative Yoga will also be offered for ages 16 and up Mondays in June, July and September (no class Sept. 2) from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and Vinyasa Yoga will be on Wednesdays in June and July (no class July 10) from 5:30-6:30 p.m. All sessions will be held at Central Green Park, participants are encouraged to bring a yoga mat and water. First-time participants are asked to arrive 15 minutes early. In case of bad inclement weather, yoga will be held at the City Center Mall.

City Park will also host an Interactive Science & Storytelling event from noon to 3 p.m. June 25 at City Park. The event will feature an action-packed and educational alien adventure using science experiments for special effects. The event is free for all ages.

“The kids events in the park are all free, as well as the concerts and movies in the park; the only thing that really has any cost associated with it is the arts,” Cole said.

The city’s concert series will kick off June 27 from 6-8 p.m. at City Park with the Brass Barn Polka Band and continue with the Whitesidewalls July 11; Free Fallin’ July 18; Boogie Wonderland July 25; and Chad Filley & Sonny Winberg Aug. 1. The concerts are free for all ages, and participants are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket to sit on.

“The goal of the variety of bands is to have something for everyone,” Cole said. “We put some feelers and surveys out there to see what people wanted to hear, and we found Boogie Wonderland and Whitesidewalls were really popular. We also have a group of polka folks in the area, so we’ve been doing at least one polka band as well.”

Food trucks will be on site at the concerts with a variety of items for purchase.

“Yummy Foods, the Grandstand and the Parlor will be at the events, at least two of the trucks at each event,” Cole said.

In August the city will host their annual free Movies in the Parks events with four movies at four parks within the city.

“Each movie is played in a different park to encourage families to get out and visit parks they may not have ever been to,” Cole said. “We bring out the big movie screen and the popcorn, and we encourage residents to bring out chairs and blankets to sit on while they enjoy a movie and popcorn in the park.”

On Aug. 2 “A Wrinkle in Time” will be playing at Central Green Park; Aug. 9 “Back to the Future” will be playing at Peterson Park; Aug. 16 “My Dog Skip” will be playing at Pioneer Park; and on Aug. 23 “Grease” will be playing at City Park. The movies will begin at dusk, around 9 p.m. according to Cole, but start times may vary, so moviegoers are encouraged to arrive early.

“We host all of these events to get community members outside and active within the city parks. We hear, and the council hears, there’s not enough activities for families, so we are really trying to increase what we offer,” Cole said. “We’re hoping that this year we can get as many community members out as we can, making good, healthy memories for themselves and their families.”

For more information or questions on any of the city’s events, contact Jennifer Cole at 763-552-3213 or jcole@ci.cambridge.mn.us.

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