Buskers serenade Pioneer Way

On Fridays families can enjoy a free show at the corner of Dock Street and Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor

Every Friday, families, couples and lone passersby can enjoy a free live show at the corner of Dock Street and Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor, lounging with some to-go bites or taking a seat while waiting for their reserved table at a restaurant.

Since June 7, the pop up plaza has hosted local artists including Walk the Line, Lauren Flynn, The Singer Tina and Selena Mac, attracting on some days a crowd of 30 to 50 people, according to Executive Director Margaret Livermore and Marketing Coordinator Teresa Besaw from the Oak Harbor Main Street Association.

Some visitors have been showing up regularly to the shows, which take place at 5:30-6:30 p.m.

“It’s getting so popular that you need to bring a chair because the tables don’t hold everybody,” Livermore said. “It’s working out really well.”

When it rains, the show is moved to the Harborside Village Mall, located at 830 Southeast Pioneer Way in downtown.

The series tries to please different ages and crowds by featuring bands of all ages, like the five-teen band Kick Brass, which brings a mix of jazz, funk and house music, and the Erik Christiansen Band, which comprises band teachers.

Future performances are brought by Second Line, Erik Christiansen Band, Brandon Baker, Kick Brass, Shannon Patino, Steve Johnson and the Fiddle Chix, culminating on Aug. 23 with Bobby Silver and the FatDaddys.

Buskers on the Corner was born as a way to give exposure to businesses and local musicians, who are paid for their performances and have a tip jar available for generous audiences.

For the event, some businesses have been extending their business hours, leaving some merchandise outside.

“Maybe (visitors) don’t shop that night, but maybe after they listen to the Buskers on the Corner they walk downtown and notice something they haven’t seen,” Livermore said. “They might not be coming back that night but they might be coming back another time.”

The Whidbey Island Crafter’s Market & Studios has been hosting a little market next to its location on Pioneer Way 4-8 p.m., where visitors and community members can check out local art while hearing the buskers play and enjoy hot dogs provided by Gregg Lanza.

Artists interested in joining the weekly performances can apply for next year’s series by contacting the Oak Harbor Main Street Association through its website. Those who have never performed at the event can submit a video showcasing their music, which needs to be family-friendly.

For more information, contact the association at 360-279-8995.

Selena Mac. (Photo by GM Photography)

Selena Mac. (Photo by GM Photography)