The bandstand in Temple City Park is set in a downtown shopping area that instills nostalgia in visitors.
Located 12 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, this ethnically diverse city of nearly 34,000 has a bandstand on Las Tunas Drive that reminds me of the western Pennsylvania town where I grew up.
Temple City is in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley and the city web site declares it is the Home of Camellias and hosts the annual Camellia festival in February.
The shops near the park along Las Tunas Boulevard have a more welcoming feel than the larger, often giant brand-name driven plazas and shopping centers in Los Angeles that can be overwhelming. So bring a lawn chair or blanket and stop at a local restaurant for favorite Chinese food, Mexican, American dishes or fast food and join the fun.
Here is the August music lineup in Temple City. The concerts are held on Wednesday evenings from 7pm to 9pm.
August 5 Raymond Michael – Elvis Tribute
August 12 The Funky Hipeez – Disco
August 19 Rockit Scientists – 50s and 60s
August 26 The Wiseguys – Swing, Jazz, Big Band
When watching the concerts, the San Gabriel Mountains provide a scenic backdrop to the downtown area. Using the imagination, it’s almost possible to see the natural beauty that existed when the Temple family settled the area as ranchers in the mid-1800s. In 1850, Piny Flisk Temple was granted the Las Merced Rancho and developed it with an extensive network of vineyards and fruit trees.
He had 11 children and it was his 10th child, Walter Temple, who began planning what has become the modern day version of Temple City. As the 20th century dawned, Walter saw the potential for the area to be a home for middle income families.
Today, Temple City allows residents easy access to commute to downtown Los Angeles, to local cities like Pasadena, or head east to the Inland Empire. Civic and business organizations like the Temple City Chamber of Commerce give the municipality its own distinct identity – despite being in the shadow of the nation’s second largest city.
The city has a neighborhood feel with many comfortable three-bedroom homes and quiet residential streets. Yet, larger shopping centers and a Home Depot are all within a short driving distance from any point in the city.
Temple City leaders and local merchants are actively charting their own economic future by helping local stores improve their physical appearance along Las Tunas Boulevard.
While a summer concert series is fun and relaxation, it’s also one barometer of health and community spirit.