image-mariachi in the park
The Half Moon Bay Concerts in the Park are always a rollicking time. They begin again with Mariachi San Francisco on Saturday. Review File Photo. 

The city of Half Moon Bay will launch the first of its community concert series from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday at Mac Dutra Plaza. The popular, nine-piece Mariachi San Francisco will fill the plaza at Main Street and Kelly Avenue with traditional rancheros, huapangos, polkas and more to celebrate the Mexican holiday.  Kelly Avenue will be closed to cars from Main Street to Purisima Street, creating a safe area for people to relax and enjoy the concert. The Half Moon Bay Library will be on site giving away free books, and the nonprofit group Ayudando Latinos a Soñar, or ALAS, will also be distributing information on its Latino cultural arts and social services programs.

Matthew Chidester, deputy city manager, says that this will be a festive end to a full and informative day downtown. 

“This will coincide with our Community Preparedness Day and the Coastside Farmers Market,” he said. “You can come and spend the whole day in Half Moon Bay.” 

The Concerts in the Park music series launched several years ago, and each year has brought changes and improvements. This year, the city is rebranding the events as the Community Concert Series, with a mission to appeal more to local residents. Chidester says the goal is a family-friendly, community event where locals can come, see friends and neighbors, and just enjoy their town.

Although this first event is in May, other concerts will take place in August and September. 

“We found we had a better turnout at the end of summer, when the weather is better,” said Chidester.  The series will culminate with the second annual Summer’s End Music Festival, Sept. 21, in Carter Park. 

Chidester says last year’s music festival was a big success.

“We had about 500 people come,” he said. “For Half Moon Bay, that is a big event. The weather was gorgeous. We had a big stage, free tacos.”

With improvements planned for Carter Park, he hopes future festivals will be even better.

“I want to see it continue to grow,” he said.

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