HAVING A BALL! — Spiderman, aka, Ryan Bender, 6, of El Dorado Hills runs with a ball almost bigger than he can handle at last year's Saturday in the Park celebration. Village Life photo by Shelly Thorene

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Soak up the fun at Saturday in the Park

By From page A1 | August 08, 2012

Saturday Night in the Park, the granddaddy of El Dorado Hills summer parties, rocks the Community Park from 5 to 9 p.m this Saturday, Aug. 11.

The 2012 edition is also the grand finale of a summer-long El Dorado Hills Community Services District 50th birthday party — bigger, wilder and kid-crazier than ever. It’s the bomb.

The annual sun-and-water-soaked funfest has taken on a life of its own in recent years, merging with the CSD community concert series. The El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce jumped on board as co-sponsor, encouraging local businesses to join the party.

Along the way the whole thing was shifted from its original scorching midday window to late-afternoon/evening, thus preventing parental heat stroke — a particular concern with this year’s headliner.

Hip Service is a dozen-or-so talented hotties (of both genders) that know how to party. But not to worry, they deliver a family friendly performance rated H for hip. Anyone who’s attended the Firefighters Wine and Cheese blast in recent years can appreciate the presence of paramedics when these guys take the stage.

Four lead vocalists, a full horn section and the usual strings and skins deliver a butt-shaking Motown, soul, disco and funk experience with some “unforgettable” standards mixed in to catch your breath or hold someone special real close.

Consistently voted the best party band in the region, Hip Service is a full-blown, old school show band, blending dance, choreography and dazzling lights in a eye-popping cross-generation stylistic fusion of tight mini skirts, gogo boots and hip hop cool.

The fun starts a 5 p.m. with Rick Torres as a roving Elvis, serenading the biz booths and partaking in some kids’ fun. Rick, we’ll expect to see Elvis on the mechanical bull.

Local businesses will again ring the perimeter of the Community Park, building the connection between residents and businesses.

“Every year I hear the same thing at this event,” said Chamber President and CEO Debbie Manning. “People can’t believe all the interesting businesses there are in El Dorado Hills, and a lot of them don’t have a storefront.”

She argues that nontraditional businesses often fly under the radar in their communities, which makes Saturday Night in the Park a “must attend” for conventional businesses that might want to partner with or sell to their nontraditional counterparts.

Manning said she loves connecting businesses, and sees Saturday Night in the Park as a great place to make introductions.

“This event in particular is a great place to discover local businesses you might not know about,” said Manning, citing acupressure and acupuncture specialists WTX Medical Group as an example.

“It’s also a great way to get re-acquainted with old favorites like Green Valley Nursery and the El Dorado Hills Sports Club that are core business in this community,” she added.

Saturday Night in the Park is an ideal venue to drive home her “buy local” message, Manning added, explaining, “Most people will buy local if they can get the right product at a fair price, especially if they’ve met the business owner.”

Manning asks El Dorado Hills residents to consider shifting a single buying habit, to purposefully purchase one category locally, be it olive oil at Mia Sorella or plants at Green Valley nursery. “The impact would be huge,” she said. “Come on out Saturday and pick one.”

Chamber veep Cassidy Flynn sees the event’s key ingredient as fun. “The kids run around and go crazy, which is contagious, especially when the sun goes down and the glow sticks light up,” said Flynn, who cited the Village Life booth as a prime example of mixing business with pleasure.

“You have this silly newspaper toss going on while Mike and Noel take turns swapping stories with the people who stop by,” she continued. “It’s a great way to catch up with what’s going on in the community, and maybe let them know about something that’s coming up.”

Cathie Urquhart of Murals & More is hosting another community mural this year. Kids and adults are invited to channel their inner Picasso.

Togs for Dogs and Cats Too will have some cute four-legged models in the booth. Stop by and adopt a kitten.

Face painters and balloon artists will ensure a suitably high silly factor throughout the day. Marshall Medical Center will offer free henna tattoos.

Local wineries David Girard, Cielo Estate, Mount Aukum and Gold Hill will all be pouring. Stop by the California Welcome Center booth for a glass. Top that wine off with food from local eateries. Enjoy delicious treats from Steve’s Pizza, BBQ Express, Sweet & Sour, Lumpkin Dirty Dogs, Annie’s Bananies, Cold Stone Creamery and B&H Popcorn.

The inflatables are back. The mechanical bull, an inflatable obstacle course a cool dozen rides different will keep the kids busy while mom and dad relax in the shade or perhaps sample a pinot grigio.

The event is free, but kid’s wristbands for the bounce house cost $10.

Mike Roberts


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