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Best of Tacoma 2019: Summer Concert Series in Old Town Park

Readers' Pick: Best Family-Friendly Venue

Old Town Park on a summer Wednesday evening is a favorite family-friendly venue. Photo courtesy Old Town Summer Concert Series

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Kim Archer is one of Tacoma's most popular soul singers, but that's not why we interviewed her for this issue. Rather, she doubles as the organizer of your pick for family-friendly venue, the Old Town Park Summer Concert Series, now in its sixth year. That all-ages series runs from the beginning of June through August each year. Archer and her combo performed at its bandstand June 5; they'll play a similarly named series at Point Ruston's Grand Plaza July 27. Meanwhile, her picks for stellar talent continue to roll out at Old Town Park. She estimates between 300 and 600 people attend each event, depending on time of year. "I try to do a good job of giving the public a variety," she says. "It's more for me about the quality of the entertainment than it is the draw. People know they're gonna see great bands, so they come."

The next act presented will be The Stingy Brim Old-Time Blues Project July 31. It's "a little bit swampy," says Archer, meaning the influence of the Mississippi Delta will likely be felt. Then comes homegrown duo The Happy Sinners in early August, followed by Angie Lynn and Knic Pfost on the 14th. (As of last month, the latter duo has assumed the stage moniker Suave and Moxy.) Rock trio Sevens Revenge plays Aug. 21. "It's female-fronted," notes Archer, adding that lead singer Dusti Seven "has an amazing voice, very powerful. ... I would say it's just your straight-ahead rock and roll." This year's series culminates Aug. 28 in a show with surprise guests. "They're soulful pop," Archer promises, "and they are fierce."

All these shows are free, but the August shows will collect donated items for a back-to-school drive. "We partner with the 253 girls," Archer explains, referring to Tacoma Girls #253. "Each week we say, ‘Can you bring pencils?' or whatever it is. We publicize that on our Facebook page and then collect the stuff. Last year, we made deliveries to six schools, and it was wheelbarrows full." She also solicits corporate donations to help pay performers; the surplus goes to charitable organizations. "It's kind of like Robin Hood," Archer jokes, but "with music in the middle."

OLD TOWN SUMMER CONCERT SERIES, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Wednesdays, through Aug. 28, Old Town Park, 2350 N. 30th St., Tacoma, 253.305.1000

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