Summer fun in the Tri-Cities officially starts May 29 when the HAPO-sponsored Live@5 Summer Concert Series, featuring Primitive Circus, gets under way at John Dam Plaza in Richland.
HAPO Community Credit Union also sponsors a slew of other summer fun events around the Tri-Cities: Cool Desert Nights on June 19-22; River of Fire Festival and Grand Old Fourth Parade on July 4; Columbia Cup and Over the River Airshow on July 25-27.
"We officially declare summer fun starts now," HAPO's Steve Anderson said at a news conference Tuesday.
The Live@5 series runs every Thursday through July 24 starting at 5 p.m. There is no cost, and besides cool music each week, there will be bounce houses for the kids, a beer and wine garden, food vendors and giveaways.
Other bands scheduled to appear throughout the summer are Foolish Fortune on June 5, Flash Mob on June 12, Stompin Ground on June 19, Lead Foot on June 26, Fall Out on July 3, Colorblind on July 10, 3rd Date on July 17 and Dance Hall Days on July 24.
Cool Desert Nights, held in Richland, features more than 700 hot rods, classic cars, pickups and motorcycles in a three-day show 'n' shine, poker run, slow drags and street dances.
"We've added a movie night to this year's event that will be held on the Columbia Point Golf Course," said Lori Mattson, president/CEO of Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Fourth of July celebrations feature the River of Fire Festival in Columbia Park with food and craft booths set up throughout the park during the day and ending with the largest fireworks show in town.
"The fireworks show will be bigger than ever and go longer this year," Mattson said.
Pasco's annual Grand Old Fourth parade starts at 10 a.m. in downtown Pasco, followed by daylong festivities at Memorial Park and ending with a fireworks show at Gesa Stadium at dusk.
Rounding out the summer fun will be the Columbia Cup hydroplane boat races and Over the River airshow on the Columbia River.
"I've been told the races will be more competitive than ever this year," said Kathy Powell, event director for Tri-City Water Follies. "It'll be the crazy HAPO Columbia Cup with tons of shoreline events happening besides the boat races."
For more information on any of the planned events, here's a list of websites to check out:
-- Grand Old Fourth: http://bit.ly/grandold4th
-- River of Fire Festival: www.tricityregionalchamber.com
-- Columbia Cup/Over the River Airshow: www.waterfollies.com
-- Cool Desert Nights: www.cooldesertnights.com
-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dorioneal