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Members of the Calimesa Cultural and Performing Arts Association were excited to bring back the Concerts on the Green.

Vintage cars lined the old fairways, vendors sold their wares and the grill was smoking as the free Concerts on the Green summer series made a comeback last week after a year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It took a while for concertgoers to get up and get dancing to the classic rock covers by the Smokin’ Cobras at the Calimesa Event Center on Thursday, July 15. However, with some help from the Calimesa Fire Department, eventually they did, twisting and shaking and having fun with songs like “Let’s Do the Twist,” “Rock Around the Clock” and “Footloose.”

“I knew we would have to come back after COVID,” said Yucaipa resident Helen Alban, a Calimesa concert regular with husband David. “We are just going to eat here and sit back and enjoy the music.”

“And have a beer,” a smiling David Alban said.

Brenda Hyatt, president of the Calimesa Cultural and Performing Arts Association, which sponsors the series with the city of Calimesa, said members were ready to cancel this year’s event when they received a call from the event center at the beginning of June, asking them to organize the concerts.

Members quickly called the bands they had booked for 2020 to see if they were still interested.

“We did it,” Hyatt said excitedly Thursday night. “We pulled it off.”

Joyce McIntire, secretary of the Calimesa Cultural and Performing Arts Association, said the bands were eager to play again.

“All the bands came back,” she said. “I am excited for the bands, they stuck it out all through 2020 … I am here to give the bands and the community some joy.”

Angel Olivas and Sara Garcia saw that something was going on at the event center from their home overlooking the old golf course. They decided to wander down and check it out.

“I wish I would have had my nieces with us. They like things like this,” said Olivas, noting the bounce house, vintage cars and fun atmosphere for kids to run around or dance.

Only a few couples were dancing to the sound of the Smokin’ Cobras before members of the Calimesa Fire Department joined in and started pulling in members of the audience to participate too. Soon adults and kids were twisting and shaking, showing off their moves and having fun.

The free Concerts on the Green summer series continues through Aug. 26, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays. The remainder of the schedule is Kelly Boyz on July 22; Charlie’s Angels the Band on July 29; City Beat on Aug. 5; The Alley Cats Acapella on Aug. 12; DooWah Riders on Aug. 19; and Alumni Acoustic on Aug. 26.

 The Calimesa Event Center is at 1300 Third St. in Calimesa. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on.

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