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Jazz in the Park brought hundreds of people out to listen to music and enjoy the outside air.

Hundreds of people showed up at Yelm City Park over the weekend to relax and enjoy the music at the third annual Jazz in the Park festival. 

The event, which took place Friday and Saturday, was hosted by La Gitana Pizzeria and the city of Yelm. Around 10 different jazz musicians and bands played near constant live music to a large crowd, most of whom had brought their own lawn chairs, blankets and food coolers. 

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NU Jazz Standard Keyboarder Graham Berry plays in front of the crowd. Other members of this band included Fred Griesman on base and Dave Snodgrass on drums.

Yelm Mayor JW Foster said that he was happy with the way things worked out and called the event “an amazing success,” and that it met and exceeded all expectations that the hosts had.

Foster said events such as this are important to the community because they provide an opportunity for residents to gather together and get to know one another. 

The festival consisted of people of all ages. 

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Connie Sue Brown (left) and her dog Gracie sit next to Priscilla Taylor, and watch the show.

The playground was full of children, the dance floor was bouncing with dancers and the ground was covered with people sitting in lawn chairs or blankets. The park was full of people relaxing and listening to the music. 

A wine and beer garden was available for those over 21. There were also several food trucks and caterers offering hot meals, such as barbecue, pizza, Asian fusion and kettle corn. 

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The band NU Jazz Standard, with Graham Berry on the keyboard, Fred Griesman on bass and Dave Snodgrass on drums.

Pizzeria La Gitana owner Marian Licxandru said the restaurant has hosted the event since its creation three years ago. Licxandru said they help make this event possible because they put in the time to set everything up and make sure everything runs smoothly. 

He said that he thinks the event was a success built off the momentum of previous years.

“I think I have never seen so many people happy in one place,” Licxandru said. 

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Pets were allowed at the park, which led to this tired dog asleep in a baby stroller.

There will be another event next year, one that Licxandru hopes will continue the Jazz in the Park tradition of adding new features each year to make it better. 

“I like to see people having fun. I like this cozy ambience,” Licxandru said. “It just fills my heart.”

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Yelm Mayor JW Foster and the City of Yelm hosted the festival.

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