SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The late Grateful Dead guitarist and San Francisco native Jerry Garcia would have turned 70 this week, and his legacy lives on with a musical celebration Sunday in the neighborhood where the bandleader grew up.

The 10th annual “Jerry Day,” held at McLaren Park’s Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, was expected to bring residents together for a day of live music starting at 11 a.m.

“Jerry Day” came about in 2002 after park supporters and community members from the Excelsior neighborhood contacted representatives of the famed singer’s estate to raise money to repair the park.

A section of the park was renovated, including a playground, and the park’s amphitheater was renamed after Garcia. City and cultural events are hosted there throughout the year.

Garcia, who died in Forest Knolls on Aug. 9, 1995, at the age of 53 after struggling with drug addiction, spent part of his childhood in the Excelsior neighborhood.

The San Francisco Parks Alliance sponsors “Jerry Day,” which has become a city tradition filled with local musical acts, including this year’s headlining band, “Melvin Seals and the Jerry Garcia Band.”

The six-member group, which plays an eclectic mix of blues, funk, rock and jazz, has jammed for “Deadheads” at McLaren Park for many of the “Jerry Day” festivals over the past decade.

The amphitheater is located at 45 John F. Shelley Drive. Admission to the festival is free, but donations are encouraged. More information was available at

On Wednesday, the San Francisco Giants honored Garcia with a birthday celebration at AT&T Park. A Garcia bobblehead—complete with his signature beard, wire glasses and guitar—was distributed to baseball fans at the game against the New York Mets.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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