Eight Gigs: Strauss Festival

Thurs., July 23, 8:15 p.m., Elk Grove Regional Park, no cover

The 28th annual Strauss Festival is local, live, family friendly and free. And it's a four-day feast for the senses that runs through Sunday, July 26. There are the swirling colors of the costumes as dancers take to the stage on Strauss Island (yes, there is such a thing—it was dedicated back in 1988) to perform waltzes, polkas and quadrilles as a live orchestra plays the compositions of Johann Strauss Jr. (pictured). The music soothes weary ears, an evening breeze cools the skin and for an evening, festivalgoers are transported to 19th-century Vienna. Arrive by 7:30 p.m. for the promenade of dancers. Elk Grove Regional Park, 9950 Elk Grove Florin Road in Elk Grove; www.straussfestival.com.