Arts & Ent.

Summer Night Out brings the party to River Road

Music was loud and the smell of food was strong as Keizer’s businesses, bands and residents came together for a summer night out. 

“To have some energy on River Road,” was one of the goals of Dennis Blackman. The owner of Copper Creek Merchantile and host of Keizer’s Summer Night Out. 

“I wanted to support the food carts that are here, get some young kids in their bands, and just have a party,” he said. 

Keizer’s Summer Night Out took place July 29 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Copper Creek Complex. Live bands from McNary’s Audio Production Technology (APT) program played, and attendees got to enjoy food trucks such as El Sazon De Mi Casa, Red Moon BBQ and Catering, Manny’s Burgers & Wings, and Bobablastic during the shows. 

The event not only supported young musicians but also partnering businesses that reside within the Copper Creek Complex including Bentely’s Coffee, blownout HAIR STUDIO, American Payroll Corporation, Lash Beauty Bar, Cat’s Meow Nail Salon, Inner Peace Massage Therapy, Fortunes Favor Tattoo Studio, Northwest Tech Solutions LLC Computer Company Sales and Repair. 

Guests entered raffles that were announced throughout the night, for items such as dog food and prize baskets for pets. 

The first band to play was the Jukebox Project, a classic pop band from the McNary APT program and led by Ryan Van Amburg who recently graduated high school. Amburg performed an original song, Fear of the Dark. He wrote his song about the pain and strife in the world, and how everything can seem negative. Amburg’s message is to “keep going” and be hopeful, for there can be good parts to the world as well. 

Amburg was a part of the APT program for three years and is performing his last shows with the Jukebox Project this summer. His final concert with the band will be Aug. 12, at KeizerFEST. 

“It feels weird that these are my last shows that I’m gonna be putting on with these people,” he said. “I’m excited for the next chapter of my life and definitely thankful for the experience that this program has given me.” 

Amburg is going to Oregon State University and wants to start a new band there. Supporting student musicians and programs like APT is important to Amburg because it’s a healthy way for kids to spend time, meet new people, and express their emotions. 

“Music just opens so many doors and provides people with a lot of different things. Whether it’s a coping mechanism, or it’s a source of joy, or it’s a hobby,” he said.