Thursday, September 1, 2011
Music, arts, fun
• Sounds of Summer successful team effort
By SUE WATSON
Sounds of Summer was expanded this year at a new location and will likely become an annual get-together for the Marshall County area, according to Sarah Sawyer, executive director of the Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce.
The music and arts festival kicked off August 27 with something for everyone. It was held this year at the Byhalia Walking Track Park, a perfect area to spread out, Sawyer said.
Additional offerings included a 5K family walk/run, the kids’ zone, artisans’ booths and four bands.
“We see where it can grow from having it this time,” Sawyer said. “The beautiful weather helped so much.”
Attendance was hard to estimate because of the volunteers and musicians, but Sawyer estimated about 300 enjoyed the activities.
The park was ideal for the event as people enjoyed relaxing in their lawn chairs, being with family, co-workers and friends, and meeting new friends.
There were good vendors arranged nicely by the Byhalia Area Arts Council.
“They did a great job,” Sawyer said. “They had some beautiful artwork. Jessica Woods Hughes had a display of Byhalia photos. They were unique.”
In terms of entertainment, there was something for everyone – including rock, blues and Christian contemporary. “Oh Happy Day,” sung by Prayznmor, was a crowd pleaser.
There was no street dance, but plenty of dancing, especially by the happy children who also enjoyed running and playing in the wide-open spaces.
Sounds of Summer Music and Arts Fest is one of four fund-raisers for the BACC, which works to improve the business environment of the Byhalia area and of Marshall County, Sawyer said.
This event adds to the other fund-raisers scattered throughout the year – Mardi Gras Celebration to benefit Byhalia Beautiful/Main Street; White Oak Classic Golf Tourney and the Chamber Celebration.
“The many other events the chamber is involved in are promotional for our members and for other worthwhile causes,” Sawyer said. “That is one reason we held a membership drive. It was to enhance investments in business, the chamber and surrounding communities. We must plan how not to try to do so much, and do what we do to perfection. But the more you do, the more people expect and I guess that we expect it ourselves. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so.
“The Sounds of Summer Music and Arts Fest was a real, true effort of the mayor, aldermen, employees of the Town of Byhalia, and the chamber all pulling together to make it a great event.
“Our sponsors are the backbone of any event. We appreciate them so much.”
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