Thursday, September 6, 2012
Sounds of Summer successful
By SUE WATSON
Attendance at Sounds of Summer was estimated at about 600, according to Sarah Sawyer, executive director of the Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce.
The August 25 event survived in spite of dreary, misty rain throughout the day that vanished by 5 p.m. when the gates opened. She said people are pleased with having the annual activities at the town’s walking park.
Food and vendors helped make the festival colorful and enjoyable to the palate. Fourteen vendors and six concessions participated. Some offerings were body painting and tattoos, hand-sewn crafts such as aprons and bows, jewelry, jumpers, and a corn toss, which was popular this year.
Entertainment was provided by Papa Don McMinn & Third Generation, Prayznmor, Eddie Smith Band and the Davide House Band.
“We hope to grow the 5K,” said Sawyer. “Everyone who did this enjoyed it.”
Another event that was a huge hit was Kids’ Zone, an area set aside for children to enjoy jumpers and other exercising activities such as swinging.
Weather cooperated to make the evening pleasant in terms of temperature and there was no insect pressure.
“It was a beautiful night and so many positive comments (on Facebook too),” Sawyer said. “The walking track seems to be working well as a location and the corn-hole tournament was a big success.”
Chamber president Leah Grant said attendance seemed to be up this year, despite the threat of rain all day.
“Despite the rain all day, our vendors didn’t give up, and we wondered if we were going to have a turnout, but we did,” she said.
Some Sounds of Summer events that were a big shot in the arm this year were the sky lamp lanterns, the Kids’ Parade, the corn-hole tourney, and the kids’ area and church booths, Grant said.
Citizens Bank sponsored the Kids’ Zone with Robyn Turner as chair.
“She really brought it to life,” Grant said.
Turner said there were many involved in making Kids’ Zone the success that it was, including three churches (Byhalia First Baptist, Byhalia United Methodist, and Fellowship Baptist) that brought games and crafts.
“The Kids’ Zone would not have been the success that it was, had it not been for their participation,” she said.
The vendor turnout increased from three last year to 14 this year, all due to the hard work of Janice and Faye Woods, who served as chairpersons, Grant said.
Sponsors’ contributions and volunteer turnout helped make the Sounds of Summer a financial success as well as a community-binding event, she said.
“It grew all the way around,” Grant said.
This is the second year the event has been held at the walking trail.
Faye Woods said she was pleased at the vendor turnout and polled the vendors and they were all pleased and said they would come back next year.
“We are going to work hard next year and get twice as many vendors,” Woods said.
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