By Matthew Rodriguez
Pasadena Weekly Deputy Editor

After a year and half absence, live music is back in Pasadena. As part of its summer concert series, One Colorado will host live concerts for diners and shoppers to enjoy.

“Music always is a great enhancement to any dining kind of notation,” said spokesperson Rishika Mahtani. “We just wanted to create a fun, vibrant atmosphere for all our diners and to support our tenants.”

Bands and DJs will host these free concerts every Friday and Saturday nights throughout August in the courtyard of One Colorado. Diners can also reserve seats at nearby restaurants. Throughout the pandemic, large gatherings — including concerts— have been strictly prohibited. However, in April, as vaccinations rose and cases began to drop, California dismissed the bans allowing outdoor concerts. In June, they peeled back the restrictions on “mega events” such as large concerts and festivals.

With fears of the Delta variant looming around, Mahtani and One Colorado have worked closely with the Pasadena Public Health Department to ensure safety as well as following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

“Throughout all our events, whether it’s the concerts or our back-to-school events, we follow every guideline that the CDC has in place,” Mahtani said. “We worked with the city of Pasadena to make sure that we’re compliant with everything they need us to be from a safety and health perspective.”

In conjunction with the concerts, One Colorado is hosting the back-to-school events Load the Lockers through Aug. 9 and Book Swap from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 7.

“We just wanted to build an initiative to help the community and give back to the community,” Mahtani said. “We’re committed to helping our communities to help them in whatever ways that we can.”

The Load the Lockers initiative began last year and helped gather a plethora writing utensils, folders, backpacks, disinfectant wipes and much more.

“We got a ton,” Mahtani said. “I think we packed up five to seven large boxes worth of donations. We had to empty the locker a couple of times, just so that we had some room for the donations from everybody.”

The bright-yellow donation locker is in the courtyard of One Colorado behind the Nike and Salt and Straw.

For Load the Lockers, One Colorado is encouraging neighbors to bring their “pre-loved” books and swap them for a new read.

Arts and crafts workshops will be available, during which participants can create a custom bookmark with DJs playing music in the background. Vroman’s bookstore will also host a children’s book reading at 11 a.m. The surplus books from the swap will be donated.

“Our biggest goal is to be part of the community,” Mahtani  said. “To be a safe space where everybody can congregate have fun and spend their afternoon shopping and dining with us.”