By Missoula Current

After a long winter, the Missoula Downtown Association is gearing up to launch the Downtown ToNight Summer Series, which kicks off the Caras Park fun season on Thursday, June 1.

The free summer outdoor concert and food truck rally takes place every week through June, July and August in Caras Park in the heart of downtown Missoula.

Launched in 2001, the Downtown ToNight Summer Series was created to bring evening entertainment to Caras Park, much like the successful Out to Lunch program does at lunchtime during the workday.

Every Thursday from 5:30-8:30 pm, Missoula families, friends, and visitors enjoy Missoula’s best food trucks, live music, and children’s activities in Caras Park. Parking is free in downtown after 5 p.m.

“Downtown Missoula is currently the best place to be in Missoula,” said Anders Brooker, president of the MDA Board of Directors and owner of Runner’s Edge on North Higgins. “Downtown ToNight and Out to Lunch serve as a consistent favorite, not only for the local community, but the business community as well.”

Drawing close to 80,000 attendees over the course of the 14-week schedule, Out to Lunch and Downtown ToNight are supported by Missoula-area businesses or organizations though sponsorships and vending fees.

Nearly 50 businesses and organizations are supporting the programs this year.

Sample of this year's musical lineup for Downtown ToNight:

June 1: Andrea Harsell & Luna Roja

June 29: Dodgy Mountain Men

July 20: Shakewell

July 27: Rotgut Whines

June 8: Mabel’s Rage

July 13: Marshall Catch

August 10: Ryan Chrys & the Rough Cuts