It’s a hot August evening in Kelseyville. The lingering summer’s heat is settling in. Off in the distance, Mt. Konocti stands tall, long evening shadows reaching toward it. But this isn’t your typical Thursday night in this small town. A barricade crosses Main Street, temporarily closing through traffic between 2nd and 3rd Street. But this closed block is far from empty. At Main and 2nd, a large stage is set for tonight’s Kickin’ it in the Country, a monthly Kelseyville tradition from June to September every summer. Lawn chairs sit in the shady spots on the street where cars typically park. Kids run across the yellow painted lines, reveling in their freedom. Nearer to the stage, a growing crowd sways to Dave Broida and the Blues Farm, tonight’s opening act. But that isn’t for a while, so there’s still plenty of time to grab a bite to eat before the party gets started.
A couple of blocks down the street, wood smoke lofts just outside John’s Market, making its signature barbecue chicken. Whether you enjoy it in a burrito, taco, or sandwich, it’s guaranteed to be exceptional. Just across the street, diners relax on the Saw Shop Public House’s patio, enjoying the high-quality local fare. But if those venues are too far to venture, one has several choices nearer the stage. Patrons come and go from Carmelitas Authentic Mexican food, only a few doors down from the band. Others carry plates of pizza back to their chairs after a quick stop at the ever-popular Pogos Pizza, where tonight, you can buy a whole pizza or just a slice. Directly across the street, the swinging door of Kelsey Creek Brewery never stops swinging as guests pick up their favorite brew. And wine lovers don’t have to go any further to enjoy a glass of Cab at Smiling Dogs Winery or some Mourvedre from Fore Family Vineyards.
Behind the stage, the sky’s pink hues trade places with summer’s glow. Finally, with the temperature cooling and a satiated stomach, it’s time to do what everyone came to do and join in the dancing. With an entire street blocked off, there’s more than enough room to find your groove.
Slowly the painted sky takes on shades of gray and black as the evening turns to night. But, not to worry, the energy and fun are far from over, even though the band is taking a short break. Just in front of Studebaker’s Coffee, onlookers welcome Pyrophoria Fire Troupe with cheers. Fire sticks spin and twirl against the night sky, with oohs and ahhs coming from the growing audience. Eventually, the band picks up again, reminding you the night is still young, and heck, it’s almost Friday!
Kelseyville’s Kickin’ It in the Country is a quintessential small-town experience that draws young and old business owners, patrons, farmers, and neighbors together for an old-fashioned hometown kind of experience. It took two years for our family to find out about it, and I’m doing my best to make up for those lost two years every month of summer. If you’ve never been, no worry. It’s always the third Thursday of the month. Check out The Bloom’s Party Calendar for details for their last concert of the season in September, or follow Visit Kelseyville on Facebook and never miss out on the fun things happening in Kelseyville. See you there!