WALNUT CREEK -- The annual Fourth of July concert at Civic Park will get a centennial-related boost this year, with an ice cream social event planned to coincide with the music, and a "Paint Out" event of local artists' works depicting and celebrating local scenes.

The celebration is scheduled to run from 3 to 7:30 at Civic Park, alongside Civic Drive and Broadway downtown. A highlight of the ice cream social will be former mayors serving up the ice cream for the free root beer floats from 5 to 6 p.m., prior to the concert, and from 7 until 7:30 after the concert.

At the celebration's center will be the Walnut Creek Concert Band, which will be performing a "patriotic salute" as it does each year. The Civic Park performance is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

People applaud the Walnut Creek Concert Band during its free Fourth of July concert July 4, 2011 at Civic Park in Walnut Creek, Calif. Band director Harvey
People applaud the Walnut Creek Concert Band during its free Fourth of July concert July 4, 2011 at Civic Park in Walnut Creek, Calif. Band director Harvey Benstein led the group in their performance on the steps of the new Walnut Creek Main Library. (Karl Mondon/Staff)

Separately, the concert band is set to play a July 4 concert beginning at 2 p.m. at Rossmoor as part of a daylong list of festivities on the Rossmoor grounds, which will also include performances by Banjo Express, the Rossmoor Rhythm Revue, the Tice Valley Jazz Band and Joel the Band, a Billy Joel tribute.

More than 30 "plein air" (that is, created outdoors) pieces by local artists will be on display at the ice cream social. Hosted and coordinated by Walnut Creek's Valley Art Gallery, this inaugural "Paint Out" has been months in the planning. The participating artists were selected through a juried process led by nationally recognized plein air artist Bryan Mark Taylor. Their assignment: starting June 21 and ending tomorrow, to go out into the open and create scenes that describe, define and/or celebrate Walnut Creek, in the medium of their choice -- watercolor, acrylic, pastels, oil or others.


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Their art will be on display and for sale at the ice cream social, and people attending the social will be able to vote for their favorite paintings. A cash award will go to the "Best in Show" by popular vote and the winner will be announced at the conclusion of the band performance.

The "Paint Out" works will then be on display at the Valley Art Gallery from July 8 through July 26.

For more information about the concert and ice cream social, go to www.walnutcreek100.com. For more specifics about the Walnut Creek Paint Out, go to http://valleyartgallery.org/events/walnut-creek-centennial-paint-out

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