Long list of summer fun for the Mid-Columbia

By the Herald editorial staff

If someone says to you, "There's nothing to do around here," either they aren't talking about the Tri-Cities, they live in a cave or they're an outright liar.

Let me entertain you, seems to be the Tri-Cities' summer theme song.

From outdoor movies and concerts to an assortment of farmers markets, there is literally something always going on in the Mid-Columbia. And much of it is free -- everyone's favorite price.

Columbia Park will be home again this year to Movies on the River, sponsored by the city of Kennewick and U.S. Cellular. The series starts Saturday and shows three more movies during the summer. This week they're playing Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Movies start at dusk, but preshow activities start at7:30 p.m. Bring lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy the movie with 1,000 of your closest friends.

The city of Richland and Smoovies have teamed up to show family-friendly movies on Friday and Saturday nights in John Dam Plaza. This week's schedule is The Lightning Thief on Friday and Diary of a Wimpy Kid on Saturday.

Both nights feature live entertainers starting at 7 p.m. and the movies start at sundown.

Of course, if you're in John Dam Plaza on Thursday nights, you also get live entertainment with the Live at 5 concert series. Tonight you can hear Locust Street Taxi.

If you enjoy live music, maybe you were at Clover Island on Wednesday night to enjoy their Thunder on the Island concert series. If you missed this week's show, there's another one every Wednesday night from 6 to 9 p.m.

You can go to a farmers market in Tri-Cities on just about any day of the week -- well almost. One Wednesday and Saturday, try Pasco's Farmers Market. Friday mornings you can go to Richland's market and Thursday evening you can stop by the new market at Southridge in Kennewick.

The cost of all of these events? Free. That's hard to beat.

If you're willing to part with a little cash, there's a whole range of theatrical productions, concerts and other performances in our schools, restaurants and wineries.

That also doesn't include festivals, like the Merrie Greenwood Faire or Cool Desert Nights. Or Water Follies or the Fourth of July celebrations. And special events like Drums Along the Columbia.

If you like baseball and hot dogs (sorry, no apple pie), the Dust Devils start a 38-home game season June 21.

The list goes on and on. More and more, the Mid-Columbia is a happening place to be. Emphasis on the "happening."

Now, if we can just get the weather to cooperate.