Area 51

Area 51

Stow House Concerts

Goleta Valley Historical Society Presents Music at the Ranch

It’s no secret where Area 51 will be July 26. The popular Santa Barbara cover band is scheduled to play its ninth year in a row at the Goleta Valley Historical Society’s (GVHS) outdoor concert series, Music at the Ranch. “It’s one of the funnest gigs I play all year,” said Area 51 lead singer Michael Andrews of the family-friendly event that hits all the right notes.

The series, which runs on Tuesday evenings July 12-August 16, came about as a way to entice visitors to the beautiful Stow House grounds during the weekdays, when attendance was typically light. “The Music at the Ranch started out as a four-week series and was designed to bring people to our historic gathering place on the off days,” explained Dacia Harwood, events coordinator for GVHS, of the series beginning. “Now 1,000-2,000 people turn out for each concert, and it runs for six weeks. This year is an especially gratifying year for the GVHS, too, since we’re celebrating the organization’s 50-year anniversary.”

Since its inception, the community has been an integral part of the series, said Harwood. “Our benefactors, bands, and volunteers have helped build a tradition, a charming tradition. Neighboring families walk or bike to the park, and there’s a real sense of community. Last year someone even brought a bubble machine for the kids, and someone else brought Hula-Hoops.”

In addition to Area 51, five other bands will be taking the stage throughout the series’ run: The Nombres (July 12), King Bee (July 19), Mezcal Martini (Aug. 2), Ventucky String Band (Aug. 9), and Tony Ybarra (Aug. 16). Bringing a picnic is encouraged, although there will be rotating food trucks on-site each Tuesday, including Shrimp vs. Chef (July 12), Georgia’s Smokehouse (July 26), Heat Culinary (Aug. 2 and 9), and Mony’s Tacos (Aug. 16), and beer and wine for sale, too. Bring blankets, low-backed chairs, and your dancing shoes to the festivities that, as past concertgoer Dawn Nelson noted, “are guaranteed to leave you clapping for more.”

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