Thursday, September 4, 2014
Letter to the Editor
Thank you and your staff for assistance in promoting the Sounds of Summer Music & Arts Festival. The ad we placed was very eye-catching and we had good response from it. This “thank you” letter is one that is difficult to write because the list is endless on the number of businesses, individuals and organizations that volunteered, supported and gave to the Sounds of Summer Music and Arts Festival. Please join me in thanking our Chamber Champion Sponsors and Festival Friends. Tigerworks Graphics did a great job on the new banners.
The overall attendance was down due to August 23 being one of the hottest days, with the highest heat index of the year. That did not dampen the spirit of the Byhalia Area Chamber members, sponsors, volunteers, vendors, concession owners, musicians, the Byhalia town employees and officials. Many comments of the “best layout, best Kids’ Zone, good music and most organized” were heard.
Many compliments to chair Leah Grant and her hardworking committee – Montie Hamblen, Bill Kinkade, Alex McClarty, Doug Grant, Angie Cannon, Faye Woods, Leslie Phillips, Terry Rodgers, Jimmy Poe and Linda Turner. Each area had numerous volunteers helping with setup, booths, gates, supplies, donations and cleanup. The Byhalia Future Farmers of America, Byhalia Lions Club and Byhalia Arts Council members once again helped as needed. Williams Equipment Rental & Supply, Terry Rodgers, D&H Electric and Paul Summers stepped up with assistance in lighting and cooling fans. Brandt Edwards, with Fencing Solutions, provided a safe venue for the parking for vendors and attendees.
We thank Mayor Phil Malone, the Byhalia aldermen, public works’ Gary Smoot, Irwin Tunstall, Doug Royal and the town crew, police chief Gary Looney, Missy O’Daniel Sansom, Kerry Reid, and other Byhalia policemen for having a booth and providing security. The help and assistance with this communitywide event was invaluable. The Byhalia Fire Department had a booth in Kids’ Zone to educate the children on fire safety.
The BACC had a tent with the new Byhalia T-Shirts and various related items. Special thanks to Jan Sisk for organizing this and to Gene Sisk for his photography. A short festival video by Gene Sisk is on the Byhalia Area Chamber Facebook page.
In the Wellness Area, Linda Turner with MS Tobacco-Free Coalition and the staff of Byhalia Family Health Clinic provided a nice big tent with free fruits and vegetables while promoting good health and non-smoking advantages. Therapy Zone, Home Choice and Rebel Body Fitness provided displays, as well, directed to health needs.
Chair Leslie Phillips put new energy in the Kids’ Zone this year. It was enjoyed by many with the Unique Events & Party providing three bounces, while Apostolic Church of God in Christ, Byhalia First Baptist Church, Fellowship Baptist Church and Byhalia Elementary School provided games. Thomas the Train by Economy Rentals was a huge hit with children and adults by taking riders throughout the walking track. Thank you to Citizens Bank for sponsoring the Kids’ Zone and providing a fun booth as well.
A new feature was the Model A Club from Byhalia. This was enjoyed by all and provided some great photo opportunities. Rural Metro provided ambulance service and, fortunately, none was needed. Trinity Mission Health & Rehab of Byhalia and Rural Metro were supportive in providing the VIP Sponsor Tent for the Chamber Champions and Festival Friends. The Cornhole Tournament was fun under Jimmy and Pat Poe’s direction. We thank McCrary’s Antiques, Arts & Crafts and Subs, Etc. for the prizes.
Our sincere appreciation to Northcentral Electric Power for continued assistance being the music sponsor and for addressing electrical needs. The music line-up was a highlight with Megan Tate, Katie Hodges, Vintage Sun, Shy and Bill Perry, and Ingram Hill providing quality entertainment. TNT Sound & Lights, A&B Distributors Budweiser Stage and emcee Jonathan Simpson did a top notch and professional job.
As you can see, the list could go on and on of what it takes to organize and produce an event like the Sounds of Summer. I would like to personally thank our staff, board of directors and members, for the direction, participation and giving spirit they have with their positions. Without that, the BACC, any event, program or project would be for no reason.
Sarah Sawyer, Executive Director
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