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Party in the Plaza: Downtown Summerfest features variety of music, food

Free fun for the entire family, back where Summerfest originated, is happening Saturday, Aug. 12.

The Downtown Summerfest will feature entertainment by The Cumberlands, Sol de la Noche and Levi Platero. Dennis DeYoung & the Music of Styx headline.

Sol de la Noche, an original band inspired by Latin world music, will perform at this year’s Downtown Summerfest. (Courtesy of the City of Albuquerque)

Albuquerque’s The Cumberlands are a folk-rock duo known for their “captivating vocal harmonies,” according to the city of Albuquerque website. Sol de la Noche is inspired by Latin world music, including Spanish flamenco guitar, rumba, Cubano, Colombian porro and cumbia. Guitarist Levi Platero, who is from the Navajo Nation, began playing as part of his family’s blues-rock trio, The Plateros. He went solo after about a year with the trio.

Guitarist Levi Platero, of the Navajo Nation, will take the stage during Downtown Summerfest. (Courtesy of Levi Platero)

Hungry eventgoers can choose from offerings at 15 food trucks, and adults ages 21 and older can enjoy a beer garden featuring plenty of cold brews.

There is also an artisan market where people can peruse and purchase offerings including soaps, jewelry, art and housewares.

Children have plenty to do at Summerfest. Kids can enjoy free face painting, test their skills through an obstacle course, climb a rock wall sponsored by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department as well as bounce around in fun jumps and inflatable houses.

“There is a little bit of construction where the fountain is removed (in Civic Plaza),” Bree Ortiz, events and operations manager for the city of Albuquerque. “So the bulk of the event is on Civic Plaza, on the sides, so we’re also closing Third Street, so we’ll have some of the art market on Third Street and then the parking lot just north of Civic Plaza, right on the other side of Marquette, is going to be all the food trucks and jumpers over there. So it’s not just on Civic Plaza; we have it spread out a little bit.”

The city is helping make parking easier Downtown by offering free parking in the parking garage under Civic Plaza. All street parking in the area is free as well. The Albuquerque Convention Center’s garage also will be offering paid parking. The event also will feature a free bicycle valet for those who want to pedal to the event.