With more than 250 in attendance for last Friday’s concert, organizers of the Lakeside Music Room at Cheraw State Park have said that sometimes, when you “try new things,” people like it.
“We had a better turnout than we had expected,” said Mark Davies, park manager, who planned and executed the event along with Jeffery Johnson of Pee Dee Outfitters and Dylan Sneed of Hartsville. Sneed was also the solo artist Friday for the first in a series of concerts planned for the summer.
Bumper stickers bearing the words, “Try new things,” were given away at the concert. The slogan reiterates the concept that Davies, Johnson and Sneed used to turn their musical ambitions into reality. In essence, by gathering monetary support for the concert event series ahead of time, they were able to present the program free of charge for the public.
“We hope each concert will be even bigger and better as the summer progresses,” said Johnson.
Although very pleased with the event, Davies said they are already working on plans to improve the next concert scheduled for Friday, June 29, with Day Clear. Day Clear is a African-American duo from Columbia, featuring cello and acoustical guitar. According to Davies, their music is “an unusual, but nice blend of jazz, classical and hip hop.”
“We plan to start a little earlier, around 7:15 p.m., so that we can be done by 9 p.m.,” said Davies. Because it was a little dark by the time some people were leaving, Davies said more lights and other adjustments to the concert area will be made before the next performance.
Food was available for purchase Friday, but it “didn’t last long,” said Davies. Next time, Bi-Lo will be the food sponsor, serving a half rack of barbeque ribs, baked beans and a roll, for $6. “We’ll plan for a bigger crowd next time,” he said.
“We were just pleased that everybody came out and supported us and the event,” said Johnson. Although the family event saw people of all ages in attendance, Johnson said, “We noticed it was mostly an older crowd; made up of people who used to enjoy the park on a regular basis. We’re hoping their return will inspire the younger generation to do the same.”
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, ext. 224, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.