Susan Edwards of Burbank has been coming to the series as a spectator since it began.
“I’m a people watcher,” Edwards said. “I love being out on a summer night with the community. I love the music and the whole community spirit. I look forward to it every year.”
The kickoff event drew high attendance, said Downtown Manager Gail Stewart, who organizes the event every year.
All ages, from 5 to 75, took to the dance floor while the band High Street played, Stewart said.
“High Street does a great job of getting the public up and dancing,” Stewart said. “We’ve had them here twice. They wear very colorful suits, and the musicians come down on the dance floor and interact with the dancers.”
Erik Larson, one of the five trumpet players in the band, was dressed in a brilliant orange zoot suit. His black fedora had an orange ribbon around the crown with a black feather tucked into it.
The group from Boise, Idaho, plays blues and rock but were playing mostly swing on Thursday, he said.
“It’s kind of our element to be interactive with the crowd, so you will see us jump off stage and go hang out with the crowd or do solos out on the dance floor,” Larson said.
Each of the band members wear a different-colored suit, he said.
“It gives a visual element too, so it’s lots of fun,” Larson said.
Before the band started to play, free swing dance instruction was given by Francisco and Stacey Martinez of The Dance Family Studio in Pasadena.
The husband and wife also teach dance classes on Monday and Wednesday nights in the Glendale Community College Community Services Education program at the Glendale YWCA.