PORT TOWNSEND — Pop-up concerts twice a week all summer long will take the place of the traditional outdoor Concerts on the Dock in Port Townsend.
The first in the Port Townsend Safe and Sound series is set for 2 p.m. Thursday, with hula hoops and bubble activities planned along with music.
Buskers from the Port Townsend Summer Band and Key City Public Theatre actors will perform downtown on Thursday and on the Fourth of July. No specific location had been announced by this weekend.
The Port Townsend Main Street Program will host the free, small-scale concerts and performances all over town, said Mari Mullen, executive director of the program.
“Due to COVID-19 impacts, the Port Townsend Main Street Program had to cancel a number of its large-scale summer events such as Concerts on the Dock and the Uptown Street Fair,” Mullen said in a press release.
The schedule of activities and locations will vary from week to week, according to Main Street’s website, ptmainstreet.org, which adds the program complements the city’s Open Streets Initiative to support business, enhance public safety and social distancing.
Main Street volunteers will hand out cloth masks to those who need them while supplies last.
The pop-up concerts are co-sponsored by Homer Smith Insurance and the Law Firm of James A. Doros. Both have previously sponsored Main Street’s weekly Concerts on the Dock summer music series.
“They wanted to sponsor these free outdoor mini-arts experiences to help bring some fun, hire local performers and support businesses in the historic districts in Phases 3 and 4,” Mullen said.
Performances will be in locations such as the Haller Fountain, Tyler Street Plaza, Pope Marine Park and Uptown Port Townsend.
The idea for the mini-concerts “came out of the fact that we had an extensive meeting with the groups of volunteers, community partners, board members and promotion committee members, and it was about, ‘Could we re-envision Concerts on the Dock and the Uptown Street fair to do it in a way with the social distancing, and what would that look like?’ ” Mullen said.
“We just really decided we could not offer those events [as they are] in a safe way.”
Main Street and its partners chose to refocus those events, which typically draw hundreds of people, and to have smaller performances where crowd size could be governed well and social distancing maintained.
At the same time, the concerts help connect the public to artists, Mullen said.
“We have a whole variety of artists who would have typically been performing at the Uptown Street Fair or at Concerts on the Dock,” Mullen said.
Ken Park can be reached at [email protected]