Wednesday is hump day. Friday is the last work day of the week. The weekend is, well, the weekend.
So what the heck is Thursday? It’s like a tease — the weekend is staring you in the face, but it’s … just … out … of … reach. You’ve still got to get through Thursday and Friday to get there.
Port Gamble, that 1853 mill town-turned-visitor destination overlooking Gamble Bay and Hood Canal, is transforming Thursdays into a warm-up for the weekend, with classic cars and live music performances by some of the region’s hottest bands.
And the car show and concerts are free.
Cruise Port Gamble began May 2 and continues every Thursday through Sept. 26, 6-9 p.m., on the lawns beside Mike’s Four Star BBQ and Gamble Bay Coffee. Car buffs show off their classic, new or unique cars.
Port Gamble Manager Shana Smith said 40-60 cars show up each week. Even in poor weather, about 30 cars are on display. “They get a good turnout,” she said.
Car enthusiasts typically wander over to Mike’s BBQ for a bite to eat, or down to the Port Gamble General Store or the Bistro By Night, both of which are open for dinner Thursday through Saturday.
Cars show up between 5-5:30 p.m. Depending on the weather and public interest that day, cars will be on display until about 8 p.m.
The Alive After 5 live-music series began June 13 with Coldnote and continues through September on the second Thursday of each month — July 11, Aug. 8, and Sept. 12, 5-8 p.m. You can dance, sing along or simply enjoy the music and a picnic. Performances are on the observation deck below the U.S. flag.
Soul Siren takes the stage July 11. The group bills itself as the “Northwest’s Premier Party Band,” which would be a bold statement if not for the band’s schedule: As of this writing, Soul Siren had 35 gigs booked through the end of the year, including two on the Fourth of July.
This quartet plays dance favorites from the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, and works to replicate the original versions. A repertoire sampling: “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang, “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin, “Heatwave” by Martha & the Vandellas, “Jump, Jive, & Wail” by Brian Setzer, “Lady Marmalade” by Patti LaBelle, and “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield.
The Slacks perform Aug. 8, laying down disco, funk and pop hits from the 1970s and ’80s. Gigmasters, an entertainment booking service, reports that The Slacks is the hottest cover band it books. The band has a repertoire of approximately 70 songs.
The Julie Duke Band closes the music series Sept. 12. The band, from Bainbridge Island, delivers an edgy, unrestrained blend of blues from the 1920s to today.
The band features the vocals of front-woman Julie Duke, funky bass powerhouse Steve Pearce, guitarist Brian Barta, keyboard player Van Bergen and the rhythmic styling of drummer John Lester.
The band’s cover versions are choice and eclectic, including songs by Elmore James, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Koko Taylor, Freddie King and Big Mama Thornton.
“Rousing, rattling, big-bottomed boogie and blues,” Kingston Farmers Market manager Clint Dudley said of the band.
“Julie fronts a band of seasoned bluesmen with warmth, humor, and the style and taste to play to almost any crowd ... This gang lays on the classic blues for everyone’s dancing pleasure.”
The band performs Aug. 23 at Emerald Downs, and at the Leavenworth Blues Festival Sept. 13.
Cruise Port Gamble and Alive After 5 are wedged in between a host of other summer events in Port Gamble, including the Muddy Paws Dog Agility Trials, July 13; Olympic Radio Control Association Air Show, July 27; the eighth annual Roots Rock Port Gamble Half-Marathon and Marathon, Aug. 4; Maritime Music Festival, Aug. 10; Olympic Radio Control Association Scale Meet Fly-In, Aug. 24; Doug Barley Memorial Car Show, Sept. 8; Olympic Radio Control Association Pattern Fun Fly, Sept. 21; Old Mill Days. Sept. 27; and the Forest Festival, Sept. 28.
For times and other information, go to www.portgamble.com.