By June 4, 2011 Read More →


Graceda Park's Mancini Bowl plays host to MoBand

Pair the warm evening breezes of the
Central Valley’s summer nights with one
of the country’s most long-established,
continuously performing bands and you
have Modesto’s Concert in the Park.
“Groovin since 1919,” the Modesto
Band of Stanislaus County has helped
furnish the sound track of our humble
city and Concert in the Park has filled
the night skies of downtown Modesto
with a poetic blending of MoBand’s
music with the soothing buzz of speech
created by those gathered in appreciation.
Composed of approximately 130
volunteer musicians whose craft beckons
listeners numbering in the thousands
to Graceada Park’s Mancini Bowl
and its surrounding lawns, MoBand has
become emblematic of Modesto’s spirit
of cooperation and solidarity.
To fully appreciate Concert in the
Park, some historical context is necessary
as the oldest city park in Modesto
hosts the oldest band. Graceada Park
was developed in 1907 under the designs
of horticulturist Dr. John McLaren,
who, with engineer William Hammond
Hall, planed and planted Golden
Gate Park in San Francisco. Originally
The Modesto Boy’s Band composed of
11 young men, The Modesto Band of
Stanislaus County has been led by the
baton of multiple conductors, including
famous music educator Frank Mancini,
from who Graceada Park’s Bowl derives
its name. Given its context within
our city founded in 1870, it is easy to
see why Concert in the Park is an important
staple in Modesto’s history.
The theme of 2011 is Simply Fabulous
and runs six consecutive Thursdays
from June 9th to July 14th with
the Fourth of July celebration, drawing
the biggest crowd, falling on June
30th. Although the music begins at 8:00
PM, blankets can be seen coloring the
lawns by early afternoon with picnics
commencing by 6:00 PM. So head on
down to your favorite market or stock
up on local bites at Thursday’s Farmer’s
Market (7:00 to Noon) before landing
at Graceada Park at Needham and
Sycamore. Feel free to pair your edibles
with beer and/or wine which are
permitted (responsibly of course) in
the park. If you would rather leave it to
the pros to assemble your meal, many
downtown restaurants provide “to go”
orders that you in turn may take to the
park. Because parking can be limited, I
advise resting the car. Hop on the bicycle
or take the heel-toe express and follow
the sounds radiating from Graceada
Park. With only six concerts the whole
summer, you won’t want to miss one.



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