Yakima's summer concerts bring business downtown

"To get people out of their houses, and come down here and have some community," said Jo McLain.

That's the goal of Yakima's new summer concert series. Long time residents know that for a while the downtown area was not what it once was. Now, the city is working to bring life back to our city.

"By coming down here they realize that things are changing, there's more to do, there's more places to eat, its attractive, it's clean, it's safe," said Sean Hawkins, Economic Development Manager of Yakima.

The summer concert series on Thursday nights is one of the main ways the city is getting people to come out and enjoy the summer nights.

"It's a great place to hang out, you know they're decorating it awesome with the flowers and providing more things to do and it a great community down here," said Kennedy Wilkinson.

"Some great food, lots of entertainment, good, good band," said Joyce Tucker.

As more people come out for the concert series, the local businesses are also noticing a change.

Actually its been fantastic because everyone is coming over and pre-funking, and then when the concert is over they're been coming over and grabbing a bite to eat," said Pete Blue, Owner of 2nd Street Grill.

In addition to the free music, guests can enjoy food booths from local restaurants, kids activities, craft vendors, and a beer and wine garden.

It's about community building, people are seeing friends they haven't seen in a while here, they're bringing they're kids down, it's a family related event too," said Sean Hawkins.

"You know, its about time, Yakima is a beautiful area, we need to bring more people here.," said Tim Erickson.

This concert is the latest step in growing Yakima's reputation as an arts and entertainment destination.