Winter Park Entertainment at Cooper Creek Square is a Friday-night tradition |

Winter Park Entertainment at Cooper Creek Square is a Friday-night tradition

by Cyndi PalmerSky-Hi Daily News
Courtesy photo

Cooper Creek Square is pleased to present its summer of family fun and second annual Music on the Mall series starting this afternoon. The incredible music lineup consists of almost a dozen talents gearing up to perform for audiences during free concerts 4:30 to 7 p.m. each Friday, June 20 through Aug. 29, beginning with a performance by local musician Ali Grayson.Grayson plays what she admits is a bit of a schizophrenic repertoire some folk, jazz, blues, country gospel, and much more on acoustic guitar and lead vocals. Themes are of love, hope and freedom, things we all innately crave as humans. So while I sing these songs that have some really powerful messages, Im hoping that any truth that might be found in these songs would seep into my own soul and just possibly into the listeners. Favorite songs include Waiting on an Angel by Ben Harper, When it Dont Come Easy by Patty Griffin, classic Over the Rainbow, and she plays several originals. Some new ones, she said, might surface during Fridays performance.Although Grayson never really had any childhood dreams of becoming a musician, she says life just sort of turned out that way and she now frequently finds herself holding a guitar and singing into a microphone. Ultimately, Im gonna blame this one on God, said the musician, who works full-time at Fraser Valley Baptist Church, oversees areas of music and missions for the church, and also took over organization of Java Mic Nights at the Fraser Rocky Mountain Roastery from friend Christine Callan who started it in 2004. She also credits husband Brian, the true musician in the family, for encouraging her music.Grayson started out as what she calls a closet singer and said she is learning that if my music can be a blessing and be life-giving for others that’s where I belong. I think the most beautiful things we get to see this side of heaven, are glimpses of people being and doing exactly what they were created to be and do.She moved here about seven years ago and hopes to be a lifer. The snow brought her and the amazing community is what keeps me here, she said. She skis all winter, bikes and climbs all summer and then plays music and hangs out with people the rest of the time.I’m more passionate about the relationships that are created and developed as a result of musical endeavors than I am about the actual music itself, Grayson says.The lineup for Fridays, which consists of mostly local musicians, also includes the Andy Irvine Blues Collective (with Irvine on bass, Jimmy Yozell on drums, and Eric Boa on guitar and vocals) June 27, Irish band Claddagh July 4, Washboard Annie July 11, high-energy bluegrass band Hunker Down July 18 (and Aug. 2 and 30), the Paper Stars July 25, Gary Key Aug. 1, Jon Cook Aug. 8, Kay Irvine Aug. 15, Peggy Mann Aug. 22, and 3rd Time Lucky Aug. 29 in the main courtyard by the fountain.The mall is also hosting several other family-oriented festivities throughout the summer: face painting and balloons noon to 3 p.m. weekends June 28 through Aug. 31, an Ice Cream Social with the Rocky Mountain Brass Band, games, stilt walkers, clowns, prizes, sales and more 1 to 4 p.m. July 5; square dance lessons and dancing while Hunker Down performs during Cooper Creek Squares Arts Week Western Hoe-Down 2 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 2, and a Labor Day Block Party with live music by Hunker Down, sidewalk sales, games, prizes, clowns, face painting, tricycle races and more 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 30.People may bring a snack to enjoy out in the courtyard or there are several food and beverage establishments near the action, including Carlos & Marias, Smokin Moes, the New Hong Kong, Mountain Grind, Verso Wine Cellar, and the Green Olive.Im excited theyre having me back, Grayson said of the Cooper Creek Square series. Its a fun, relaxing outdoor venue. Folks can bring a bottle of wine and a picnic … kids can play in the fountain its a great time.

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