Altadena, CA

Los Angeles County's Farnsworth Park is Home for the 25th Summer Concert Series

Don Simkovich

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Farnsworth Park gives view of Pasadena's cityscape and nighttime lights of LA County;Photo by Don Simkovich

Watching a free summer concert in historic Farnsworth Park is a summer tradition in Altadena, the unincorporated community hugging the foothills just north of Pasadena. The Altadena Rotary hosts the concert series that’s in its 25th season with nine performances, kicking off Saturday evening, July 9 and runs through mid-September.

All concerts start at 7pm and the address is 568 E. Mount Curve Ave., Altadena 9100.

Parking is free in a lot south of the amphitheater, along Lake Avenue, or on Mount Curve at the northern end of the park.

Above the Urban Sprawl

A visit to Farnsworth Park lifts visitors above the high rises in Pasadena, the crawl along the 210 freeway, and even offers views southwest toward downtown Los Angeles, only 15 miles away.

Several dozen picnic tables fill the sloping grounds and are popular for picnicking before the music starts and once the bands play. Area church groups and families use the evening as a reason to gather on a Saturday evening and enjoy the sunset late into the evening.

The Rotary Club series is a community alternative to the pricier Hollywood Bowl experience.

The Amphitheater as History

The 21st century concerts blend with architecture from almost a century ago.

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Join a few hundred others looking onto the stage or dozens more playing in the park;Photo by Don Simkovich

Farnsworth Park is named for a local resident and military veteran, Charles Farnsworth, who in 1931 supported the property for use as a park. Within three years, the amphitheater and main stone building used for banquets and weddings were built using Depress-era funds of the Works Progress Administration and employed residents from around Altadena and Pasadena.

Spanning the Ages

Toddlers to the most seasoned senior citizens attend the events.

Bench seating in the amphitheater slopes to a spacious area for impromptu dancing for the obviously skilled and those who simply like to move to whatever beat’s being played out on stage.

You can bring your own food or buy dinner from El Patron, the restaurant on Lake Avenue bringing its menu to the park and purchase beer, wine, soft drinks and water from the pop-up bar that the Rotary staffs during the concerts.

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Farnsworth Park blends the rural elements of Altadena with urban views;Photo by Don Simkovich

Value Add

For kids who need plenty of wiggle room, the playgrounds on the western portion of the park are open, the field south of the amphitheater is a place to run, tumble, and throw Frisbees while the music plays. Horses make a visit thanks to the Altadena Sheriff Station deputies and volunteers.

Summer Date Ideas

Farnsworth Park is just south of the Echo Mountain hiking trail at the intersection of Lake Avenue and Loma Alta streets and is also near various entrances to the Altadena Crest Trail. Take a quick hike, then stop for dinner with several dining options along North Lake Avenue before heading to the event.

The cost is only what you eat and the gas used for driving.

Los Angeles County operates Farnsworth Park which has 34 Parks After Dark programs running throughout LA County from June 16 to Aug. 6. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 6pm to 10pm.

2022 Summer Concert Dates

July

July 9 – Cash Up Front

July 16 – The Tribe Band

July 23 – Mariachi Divas

July 30 – Lightin’ Willie

August

August 6 – Blue Breeze Band

August 13 – Upstream

August 20 – Past Action Heroes

August 27 – Boys of Summer

September

September 10 – The Who Experience

The Altadena Rotary

The Altadena Rotary meets Thursdays, noon, at the Altadena Town and Country Club, near Hill Avenue and Holliston Avenue and visitors are welcomed.

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I interview entrepreneurs, and dig into the news around Southern California, giving a voice to business owners, artists and more. I also co-write the thriller novel series Tom Stone Detective Stories.

Pasadena, CA
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