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The best things in life are free

In between cultural performances, winery tours and local restaurant options, there are plenty of opportunities for free summer fun in the Rogue Valley, including concerts, movies, car shows and theatrical offerings.

Sarah Garceau, recreation coordinator for Central Point Parks and Recreation, says if someone isn't having fun in the Rogue Valley, he's not paying attention.

"Central Point has lined up some great entertainment for you to enjoy free of charge," she says. "Friday Night Festivals is a fantastic way to get out of the house with your family and enjoy a Friday night. You may even run into old friends or meet some new neighbors.

"Grab a blanket or some lawn chairs, pack a picnic dinner or purchase food and snacks from a vendor on site, and come join us for a night of fun."

Medford movies and concerts in the park

Both Central Point and Medford offer free movies and concerts in local parks on warm summer nights, where hundreds of families sometimes show up with blankets and popcorn.

Medford movies are held most Saturdays (except July 5) from mid June through Aug. 9, in various parks, including Bear Creek, Lone Pine, Fichtner-Mainwaring and downtown's new Pear Blossom Park.

Wednesday concerts will run through Aug. 13 at Bear Creek Park and Pear Blossom Park. For details, see www.playmedford.com

Central Point movies and concerts

A combined movie and concert season runs every Friday night from July 11 to Aug. 15 at Robert Pfaff Park, near downtown Central Point.

On three of the weeks, both will be offered on the same night.

On July 11, Calypso/Caribbean music from The Chantwells will be followed at dusk by the Disney hit "Frozen."

On July 18 country-rock group Husk will be paired with "Despicable Me 2."

On July 25, Living on Dreams will bring jazz and funk before a showing of "Coraline."

Movie-only events at Twin Creeks Crossing Park will include showings of "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" on Aug. 1, "Lego Movie" on Aug. 8 and "The Goonies" on Aug. 15.

OSF Green Show

Fans of theater or variety in live entertainment would be remiss if they did not take advantage of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's free Green Show offerings, which run six nights per week from June through October while the outdoor Elizabethan Stage is running.

Visitors stand a chance of seeing anything from opera singers to cellists to drummers and silk and trapeze aerial dancers.

Shows take place at 6:45 p.m. and last approximately 35 minutes.

See www.osfashland.org/productions/2014-activities-and-events/green-show.aspx

Ashland City Band

For concert aficionados, the Ashland City Band offers reliable weekly music in the park at the Butler Band Shell in Lithia Park.

Performing a range of musical genres at 7 p.m. every Thursday from mid June to mid August, the Ashland City Band has been around since the 1880s.

The free concerts are a summer staple for tourists and locals alike. Bring a towel or chair. For details, call 541-245-9494 or see www.ashlandband.org/programs.html.

A big ball and free summer music by Ashland City Band make Lithia Park the place to be on Thursday evenings in the summer. - Sean Jeter