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'Party on the Plaza' rocks downtown Gresham with free outdoor concert at Arts Plaza

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Hit Machine was the headliner during the Music Monday Party on the Plaza celebration Monday evening, Aug. 12. The Music Monday celebration earlier this week brought dance hits into downtown Gresham for a family-friendly night of music and fun.

The "Party on the Plaza" Monday evening, Aug. 12, expanded the popular weekly summer concert series into a bigger block celebration. Music Mondays are a series of free concerts that run from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Gresham Arts Plaza, 401 N.E. Second St.

 PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Jacob Hauglund was the opening act during the free outdoor concert. Jacob Hauglund kicked things off with a series of songs while playing the piano. Then Hit Machine came on as the headliner, bringing Top-40 party band dance hits from every era.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Bart Hafeman, founder of Hit Machine, said there is nothing better than performing at an outdoor concert. "There is nothing better than playing outdoors in the summer," said Bart Hafeman, founder of Hit Machine.

The bigger concert closed both Second and Third Street to fill the entire plaza with fun events. While the performances got the several hundred people up and out of their seats, there were also food and drink vendors, Disney princesses, the children's splash pad, raffles and giveaways.

The Music Mondays concerts are a relaxed setting, with many visitors bringing blankets, chairs and picnics to enjoy alongside all the food offerings from the vendors.

Some of the businesses and groups at the event included Schmizza Public House, the Gresham Breakfast Lions Club, Chick-Fil-A, Kona Ice, The Hoppy Brewer, Salsas Locas, Tany's Bakery and more.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Todd Kirnan, aka Mr. Gresham, was one of the attendees up on his feet dancing during the performances. A wine raffle and other contests raised money to support the Center for the Arts Foundation, who hosts the Music Mondays concerts.

"This is a volunteer organization, and the 'Party on the Plaza' helps us put on these events," said Sue O'Halloran, president of the nonprofit organization.

The concerts are also made possible from sponsors — including Weston Kia, KMO Realtors, Northwest Accounting Partners, Miller and Mane, and Clackamas County Bank.

For more information, contact the Center for the Arts Foundation at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or O'Halloran at 503-489-1157.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Along Third Street there were several classic cars as part of the Party on the Plaza event.

Upcoming performances

If you missed the Party on the Plaza, there are still two more Music Mondays concerts coming up. Both shows begin at 6:30 p.m.

-- Aug. 19 — Timothy James, a local sensation featuring five blues-driven guitar players

-- Aug. 26 — Cherry Blossom Orchestra, big band swing and jazz music, celebrating Louis Armstrong

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