Elvis sighted in La Cañada

Elvis impersonator Steve Roth set toes tapping and heads bobbing at Memorial Park in La Cañada Flintridge Sunday as he entertained with a string hits from one of rock's greatest legends.

The performance, which drew several hundred families, was the seventh in the city of La Cañada Flintridge's 14-week summer series, Music in the Park. It was followed by a screening of "Monsters vs. Aliens."

Launched in 1997, Music in the Park has evolved into one La Cañada's signature programs. Attendance continues to be strong, said James Kambe, vice chair of the city's Parks and Recreation Commission, with the Elvis and Neil Diamond nights drawing the largest crowds.

"We try to have a good cross section of music for everybody's tastes," Kambe said. "We do a wide variety and it is fun to see the big crowds for the popular [acts] like Elvis, but it is also fun to hear some music that you might not necessarily go out of your way to hear."

La Cañada residents Barbara Corsino, Ada Mazzola and Joan Bouchard said they attend every Music in the Park performance. It gives them an opportunity to enjoy good music while visiting with neighbors and friends. And occasionally they venture out to dance in front of the gazebo.

"When Neil Diamond [cover band] goes on I will go down there and jump around," Mazzola said, gesturing toward the gazebo.

Music in the Park is a great way to wrap up one week and start another said, attendee Patricia Magoffin.

"We try to come here every Sunday," Magoffin said. "We have been doing this for years. The music is great."

On Sunday, Roth interlaced the Elvis numbers with a bit of history, describing the musician's early years in the business and the stories behind some of his biggest hits.

And if the music didn't grab the crowd's attention, the costume certainly did. Roth donned a baby-blue suit bedazzled with silver sequins and big silver sunglasses. Attendees lined up after the performance to take pictures with him.

Attendee Pat Stoops said the music series reminds her of what a safe and welcoming city La Cañada is.

"It makes me proud to live in La Cañada because I see what a nice community it is," Stoops said. "It is very family oriented."

The city views Music in the Park as an investment, Kambe said, and one with a high return.

"The good news is the city council has been able to continue our funding and the community definitely benefits from it," Kambe said.

Next week's performance will feature country western band All American Wranglers. For a complete schedule, visit http://www.lacanadaflintridge.com.

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