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July 19, 2006 Young children play catch and the adults check out the barbecue before the movie “Shark Tale,” hosted by Ashland Parks and Reaction and US Cellar at the Oak Knoll golf course on July 7. By Vickie Ald

Looking for something to do on a warm summer evening in Ashland that doesn’t cost a lot of money? Well, there are plenty of activities that are free or almost free for residents and tourists of all ages.

The Ashland Parks and Recreation Department is hosting free family-friendly movies at the Oak Knoll Public Golf Course driving range thanks to the sponsorship of U.S. Cellular. The cell phone company will be giving out prizes at the screenings.

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” will be featured on Friday, July 21, followed by the documentary “March of the Penguins” on Friday, Aug. 4. Both movies will be projected on an outdoor screen and begin at 8:45 p.m.

Ashland’s Dagoba Chocolates will offer chocolates on July 21.

People are welcome to bring lawn chairs, blankets, snacks and drinks, except for alcoholic beverages, according to Rachel Teige, recreation superintendent for the parks department.

The golf course is located at 3070 Highway 66, east of the Interstate 5 Exit 14 interchange.

Ballet in the Park returns to Lithia Park on Monday evenings at 7:30 on July 24 and 31. The free performances are at the park bandshell in the middle of the park. Children can attend free ballet lessons on those days at the bandshell at 9:30 a.m.

The Ashland City Band also will be back in Lithia Park this summer will free concerts at the bandshell at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays through August 10. The Southern Oregon Songwriters Association will perform at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays from August 17 through September 7.

Local teacher and storyteller Matt Damon will entertain families with stories from 6:45 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18. The free event will be held on Lithia Park’s front lawn, nearest the downtown Plaza.

For only $1 admission, enjoy swimming from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Labor Day weekend at the Daniel Meyer Memorial Pool, 1705 Homes Ave.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is continuing its tradition of offering free dance and music performances in the central brick courtyard next to

the box office. The Green Show, as it’s called, begins at 7:15 p.m. every day except Monday through August 13. Performances will begin at 6:45 p.m. beginning on August 15.

The events feature dancers from Indianapolis, Indiana-based Dance Kaleidoscope through Sept. 10. The performances will be music-only beginning on Sept. 12.

Ashland’s galleries extend their hours until 8 p.m. on the first Friday of each month. Art lovers can stroll among the galleries, many of which offer wine and hors d’oeuvres for the First Friday Art Walk.

“There’s no cost at all to look at beautiful art and have a taste of wine,” said Ashland Gallery Association Administrator Suzanne Heinrich.

Art walk maps are available at Ashland galleries for First Friday. Most galleries are concentrated in downtown Ashland and along Fourth Street, A Street and Oak Street.

— — Miles Rooklyn keeps a watchful eye in the wading pool at Daniel Meyer Memorial Park on Tuesday afternoon.

Staff writer Vickie Aldous can be reached at 479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.

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