Gas prices are going back up, a drought's drying up the whole valley and most of the rest of the world's going to hell in a handbasket. What can any of us do about it?
Hey, let's dance! And if you're thirsty, don't sweat it: The beer garden and food vendors are back.
Yup, for a few hours -- from 5-9 p.m. every Thursday, starting June 18 -- it's time for Yakima's favorite street party, Downtown Summer Nights, presented by Stewart Subaru.
You know how this works: We close off North Fourth Street between Chestnut and Yakima avenues to make room for all kinds of vendors (including a variety of local foods), a beverage garden, picnic tables and plenty of spaces to kick off your shoes and kick up your heels. And thanks to Yakima Neighborhood Health, kids can play, too: They're providing free hands-on activities from Yakima Maker Space and free face-painting by Face Art Magic.
In addition to Stewart Subaru, sponsors include West Valley Fitness, which is covering the stage, and Chinook Music Fest, which is powering the music.
Oh, and speaking of the music -- here's this year's lineup:
June 18 -- McTuff, a blues/rock band out of Seattle, along with Seattle's Cracker Factory and hometown favorite Nikki J. (Hosted by Newstalk KIT.)
June 25 -- Seattle rock/indie outfit Van Eps, along with The Banner Days out of Seattle and Yakima's Indigo Kidd. (Hosted by KATS.)
July 2 -- Country night, with Brewer's Grade out of Oregon, plus Robbie Walden from Spokane and Kate Turner from the Tri-Cities. (Hosted by 92.9 The Bull.)
July 9 -- Soul and blues from Jason Spooner, all the way from Maine. The Campbell Davis Band from Walla Walla and Yakima's Chase Craig round out the bill. (Hosted by KFFM.)
July 16 -- Seattle's Ayron Jones Band, which lit up the Yakima Valley SunDome over New Year's Eve, is the headliner, plus Daniel Kirkpatrick & The Bayonets, along with Whitney Monge, both from Seattle. (Hosted by KATS)
Seattle, plus the Common Deer from Yakima and Courtney Biggs of Spokane. (Hosted by 92.9 The Bull.)
July 30 -- Seattle's Ian McFeron brings Americana music, joined by the Hoyer Brothers of Leavenworth and Emily Otteson, well known in Seattle and Portland. (Hosted by Newstalk KIT.)
Aug. 6 -- Here comes some funk from Down North (from out west in Seattle) following Skyler Mehal of Ellensburg and Seattle, plus Wenatchee's Eden Moody. (Hosted by KFFM.)
Aug. 13 -- Aaron Crawford plays some Seattle-style pop country. The Olson Brothers Band from Olympia and Afton Prater of Sequim open. (Hosted by 92.9 The Bull.)
Aug. 20 -- The season closes out with world music and bluegrass from Yakima's own Blake Noble, plus Uphill Both Ways from Ellensburg and another local band, These Guitars Say Sorry. (Hosted by KATS.)
And don't forget to watch our website and listen on-air for your chance to win one of our weekly VIP experiences. You and up to five of your friends could relax in prime seating while our on-air hosts serve you $50 worth of food and beverages!