The streets are alive with music

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By John Kilgore / Staff Writer

(John Killgore / Staff Writer)

By John Kilgore / Staff Writer

The Riverside Downtown Street Jam went on without a hitch on Sept. 12.

Friends and families arrived at the Street Jam with peaked interest.

Attendees laid out blankets on the sidewalks to settle in and soak up the event around them.

Breaking the silence at 2 p.m., The Cadillac Cats hit the stage.

Upbeat rhythms reverberated throughout all the surrounding buildings towering overhead.

Children experienced live music while hopping around to their own beat.

“The Cadillac Cats enjoy playing for the kids,” Ed Dose said. “They’re very family oriented. Kids even get to come on-stage.”

Not only was there family friendly music for children to enjoy, but clowns were at the Street Jam too, painting faces and handing out balloons.

Local business owners and restaurants along with the city of Riverside abundantly offered their services during recent construction.

But despite all the construction in the Downtown Riverside area, the Street Jam managed to provide an inviting environment.

“I think they should do more stuff like this and build more to make this town a bigger attraction,” said Christine Bias, a teacher from Riverside.

Still, others seemed to believe there could be more to offer at the Street Jam.

“The Downtown Street Jam could have had more vendors here,” said Paula Rivers.

Riverside Downtown Partnership provided a perfect environment for the community to join in and mingle as their children interact with each other providing a great opportunity for all to learn.

Many dog lovers brought their companions to the Street Jam as well.

Robert James Dick heard about the event through the Press-Enterprise, and brought along his five Dalmatians.

Besides a free concert, the Street Jam also offered free salsa lessons from the University of California Riverside dance team to all willing participants.

Everyone on-stage listened intently to instructor Lou Luistro as they matched his steps to the choppy beat.

After going over the basics a few times attendees began to grasp the concept.

Spinning and twisting all lesson, the participants panned out thanks to UCR’s dance team.

As the final round of music played a circle of folks shuffled their feet in unison, in tune to the salsa beat.

With laughter and smiles lighting up their faces, participants  moved on to a courageous finish.

 For moments in time, people wearing looks of amusement whistled, cheered and jeered as children tugged at their parents  pants yearning to run around.

As the sun set, the children’s energy waned after a full day of running around with their balloons and painted faces.

As the stage is greeted by Grammy winner Poncho Sanchez, interest peaked with smiles galore.

A psychedelic performance lead to an upbeat atmosphere.

Fathers danced with daughters, mothers with their sons.

As the crowd inched closer to the stage, praise increased in size and volume.

“It’s nice to get out and hear the music,” said Gail Cameron.

Closing this event, Sanchez is exactly what everybody expected.

Finding this evening eventful, families retire for the night reveling a harmonious scene not to be forgotten.

Richard Ortan, a Custom Knife Maker, came to the Riverside Downtown Street Jam for his second time.

“It was worth the come back,” said Orton.

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