Grab your umbrella! And get in line for the The Be -Bop Parade! Or better yet, buy your second line, New Orleans style umbrella, designed by a local student, for just $12 from the Cheraw Arts Commission.
The Mary G. Burr Art Gallery at the Cheraw Community Center is currently featuring a unique collection of second line umbrellas that have been created for the sole purpose of celebrating the life and talent of John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie in the Be-Bop Parade!
The Be-Bop Parade has been part of Cheraw’s South Carolina Jazz Festival for several years. The umbrella project is the result of an effort by the Cheraw Arts Commission to generate more interest in the parade, said Lindsay Bennett, executive director for the Cheraw Arts Commission, “and at the same time, generate art supply money for local students.”
Each of the participating schools — Long Middle School, Cheraw High School and Faith Christian Academy — will receive a portion of the money raised, said Bennett. Sales opened Tuesday evening with a reception at the gallery. Within 30 minutes, several of the umbrellas had been marked sold.
Of course, creating your own Be-Bop Parade umbrella would be fun, too. The parade begins at 11 a.m. Sat., Oct. 19, at Dizzy Park on Huger Street. Participants on foot, in wagons, on bicycles or tricycles, will dance their way down Kershaw Street and turn onto Second Street to end at Centennial Park.
If you are interested in viewing the umbrellas, the gallery will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. They will remain on display until the festival opens next week.
The Cheraw Arts Commission is sponsored by the South Carolina Arts Commission, The Chesterfield County United Way and the National Endowment for the Arts.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.