Jazzin’ in the Park kicks off Chewelah’s annual Nostalgia Days weekend every year but is often moved inside due to bad weather. However, the event lived up to its name on Friday, May 25 by providing the public with a free evening of entertainment in the city park.
Jazzin’ in the Park, which is hosted by the Jenkins High School jazz band, has always been meant as an outdoor music concert at the Chewelah City Park amphitheater to feature various musical performances and display the Chewelah float. However, the unpredictable weather on the last weekend of May has pushed the concert inside for at least two of the last five years and the float has not been seen at the event two years in a row.
JHS band director Joe Trudeau said the 2012 event turned out exactly how he envisioned it to be since he took over Jazzin’ in the Park in 2008. It was a comfortable place for people to stay and enjoy good music, casual conversation and a barbecue dinner provided by the Chewelah Music Boosters.
Multiple musicians were invited to share their talents with the audience in addition to the JHS jazz band performances. Local musician Tom McLain opened the evening with songs on the guitar and piano followed by JHS junior Josie Mott on the guitar. JHS senior Eric Stevens concluded the evening with a few self-accompanied songs of his own.
The award-winning 2012 community float arrived at the event around 6 p.m. Many children and adults appeared excited to be able to see the “Under the Sea” themed float up close for the first time.
The Distinguished Young Women representatives Mallorie Powell, Atasha Edwards and Daniele Bradley performed their parade routines on the float once the jazz concert concluded. Powell and Bradley are also members of the jazz band and wore their mermaid costumes for the entire evening. Their classmates dressed in beachwear to continue the theme.
The Chewelah Music Boosters made nearly $500 for the evening cooking hamburgers and selling baked goods in the nearby gazebo.
Families were witnessed eating dinner on the grass together and spectators commented that they stayed longer than planned because it was such a pleasant evening.
By Kellie Trudeau The Independent Staff
In this photo: The JHS Jazz band dressed in beach attire for the 2012 Jazzin’ in the Park. Kellie Trudeau photo