Dancers twirl like ribbons on a Maypole joyfully around the front of the stage, some are barefoot in the cool clean grass. It’s not often you glimpse small town Princesses, delighting the dreams of a young girl, who might one day grow up to be a Princess herself. If she just holds their hands tight enough, for that last spin, she will become one of them, flowering out in a midnight blue dress.
The light-hearted atmosphere of Tunes on Tuesday in the heart of the Newberg Cultural District beams a ray of innocent joy across Oregon Wine Country. I can feel it. All ages are present in the vast array of onlookers, sitters, eaters, and movers. Children run giggling between the poised elders, who are smiling ear to ear while enjoying the show. Fashion-flair sparks among the men and women of the crowd. There is never a dull moment in this perfect, people-watching pasture.
The Staff of the Rogue Gourmet Catering Company are always smiling and laughing. I love how they go out of their way to add joy to the evening.
The booming belt of voice bellowing from the funk-punk athletic, tattooed, and talented young women of Dancehall Days is sending the crowd into a state of thrive and excitement within the breezy plaza. The band is casually ready to entertain with a cool charisma and young vibe twist to some modern dance classics. It’s like sitting first row and voting on “The Voice”, except they have obviously already won the crowd over with the first note.
I am dog-lover. So, one of my favorite looky-lou things to do is watch for cute pups. There are many to be had, all well behaved, and hanging out with their loyal people for a summer evening of loving licks and ankle sniffing. These little longhaired dachshunds stole my heart.
Renaissance Catering owner Chef Kris, who lives around the corner from us, was busy like some pizza bee in honey-dough hive. He skillfully hand-shaped and created beautiful pizzas to toss in his mobile, wood fired brick oven. I have noticed he always has several near-drooling onlookers while he masters the dough, and I commend his hard work near a hot oven in the summertime.
I have never seen such a long, although very delighted line of children for balloon hats as there is in front of the American Family Insurance booth. Ben Jaquith shares a huge smile with all the kids as he bends, folds, rustles, and contorts these rubbery squeak-emitting balloons in the delicate, yet quick creation of these awesome air-filled concoctions.
The kids love them. They run around using them as swords, or swinging their heads and watching the ends dance about. It is really quite hilarious, and I have to peel myself away to continue on my little journey through the crowd. As I poke around, I notice these tall, squirrelly crowns floating all around me on the tops of little tousled heads. One day Sender will get one, I am sure.
I padded over towards Centennial Park to find myself smack in the center of tweeny-teenville. It’s a similar squeak to the balloons, just a bit deeper with the occasional whispered laughter. This age group is condensed and there are plenty of parents with little ones around on the playground to add a bit of “unintentional” bystander-volunteer chaperoning. Another word would simply be “neighborhood”, as that is the true feel to the park.
I have been cruising around for a while, and the rainbow shave-ice in the tall, open trailer, and Cream Northwest in their pleasingly colored orange rig is truly calling me by name. Nathan has been standing in line for some time now for our first taste of Cream. I see now, why the line, and why the sincere raves from customers all over town.
We experienced a wonderfully cold, double scoop of homemade Earl Grey and Boysenberry Swirl. Sender had his first taste ever of ice cream, or bliss, as I now prefer to call it, and he made the sweetest little cold-sour face with just the tip of the spoon on his tongue. We enjoyed this soothingly cool treat and can’t wait to hit them up at the Farmer’s Market on Wednesday. I’ll share a secret: There is hardly any line during the Farmer’s Market, so try some for yourself then if you are shy of waiting.
It was nice to see the Newberg Animal Shelter representing in a canopy near the front entrance on Howard Street. They had a cool spin-the wheel raffle for visitors.
The pancake-eating contest, in front of the stage, was a cute-munching intermission of a few young folks trying to swallow sticky cakes just a wee bit faster than the other. There were a lot of breath catching little dancers and fun iPhone photo ops going on here.
The Tunes On Tuesday party overall is a pleasantly mellow vibe with some local brewery tastings and plenty to snack on. I noticed Deception Brewing of Dundee, with their bold black and white logo, is a popular spot to grab Apricot Cream Ale and chill out on one of the shaded stonewalls.
From Princesses to Pups and babies in Daddy-pouches, there is plenty to take in while wandering this beautiful Wine Country plaza.
Tunes on Tuesday July 26 2016