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One of the charms of Rancho Murieta is that it’s a quiet place, with a small number of large events handled well every year. Now, some Murietans are looking to increase the number of events, and starting very soon.

A couple of Rancho Murieta Association directors have scheduled a string of events for this spring and summer, Stephanie Bianchi working from inside the Rancho Murieta Association and Larry Shelton working from outside the RMA. This is in addition to the return of the ETC shows at Lake Clementia Amphitheater and the Summerfest food trucks weekly at Stonehouse Park.

Bianchi, who chairs the RMA’s Recreation Committee, said these events are her focus.

“My main goal for all of this – running for the board and, you know, being in charge of the Recreation Committee – is really to bring Rancho Murieta together as a community,” she said, “to offer more events that include people of all different generations so that we can do things that are fun.”

Danise Hetland, RMA assistant general manager and staff liaison to the Rec Committee, said she’s excited about the prospects. “We’ve got a chairman who’s full of good ideas,” Hetland said. “We’ve got new offerings for the community, and I think the community’s going to love it.”

Some of the things Bianchi and the RMA are ready to announce:

  • A coed slow-pitch softball league, playing Sunday afternoons and evenings at Stonehouse Park. Details are forthcoming.
  • A free family movie night June 16 at Lake Clementia Amphitheater (time and movie to be announced). 
  • A bus trip to Jackson Rancheria June 24 (details to be announced).

And there are some things they’re not ready to announce yet.

If you want to help, Bianchi said they'd welcome it. The Rec Committee meets the first Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. at the RMA Building.

From the other side of the RMA board table, Shelton has been working for more than a year to stage free summer music at the Gazebo, next to the North Gate. The Gazebo, he said, is “a perfect place for a lot of events, but never well used.”

He has scheduled a series of four Saturday afternoon concerts this spring and summer, starting next month.

“It’s kind of an experimental thing. We’re going to try it this summer and see what happens,” he said. He’s hoping for resident-driven concerts that don’t involve the RMA or cost the organization staff time or money.

The concerts aren’t being sponsored by RMA. Shelton is putting on the shows, funding the entertainment, liability insurance and any other costs out of his own pocket. He said he’s not looking for credit for the shows. Reluctantly, he shared that he believes his bills will be under $2,000 for the summer.

“I’ve done this in the past, elsewhere that I lived. I’ve sponsored music activities many, many times, so I’m not uncomfortable doing this,” he said.

Shelton said he feels it’s part of giving back to the place where you live. In the past, he said, he has supported Little League, Summerfest and other activities. “This year I’ve decided I want to try this music thing, and if it works I’d like to figure out a way to make it self-sufficient and something where we can have four or five free music events per year at the Gazebo every summer,” he said.

Shelton said he has worked with the bands in the past and he’s certain they’ll cooperate to turn the volume down if there are noise problems for residents across Laguna Joaquin. The bands understand this coming in, he said.

The series, for Murieta residents and their guests, is called “FreeRock,” because the shows will be free. You’ll need to bring your own blanket and/or chair.

The schedule:

  • April 21, 4-7 p.m.: Howlin’ Alan / Desert Dan, acoustic rock
  • May 12, 5-8 p.m.: The Howlin’ Alan Trio, classic rock
  • June 23, 5-8 p.m.: Dr. Rock and the Stuff, classic rock and blues
  • Aug. 4, 5-8 p.m.: West of Leo, progressive rock

Call (916) 955-9955 for further information.

Beyond these concerts, Shelton would like to see the Gazebo used for a wide range of community activities – dance lessons, Pilates sessions, folk dancing and more. He’d like to have regular pick-up jam sessions for community musicians on Sunday afternoons.

These events, and all community events and board meetings, can be found in the RanchoMurieta.com calendar.

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