It's time to pack those lawn chairs and picnic baskets and stake out a patch of grass at Huntington Central Park.
Summer officially opened Wednesday with the solstice. And come Sunday evening, the musicians in the 70-member strong, all-volunteer Huntington Beach Concert Band will strike up a medley as they open the 2012 Summer Concert Series.
Organizers of the 11 concerts, which will be on the sloping lawn behind the Central Library on Sunday nights through Sept. 2, expect an audience of as many as 2,000 to fill the lawn for each of the open-air shows.
Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the community band, which John Mason, the former band director at Marina High School, founded in 1973.
"Music speaks to the soul," said Tom Ripley, who has served as the band's director since May 1977. "Once you've got it in you, you share it with everybody else. Music speaks across all cultures, races, everything."