News Column

Sand in the Streets, Pride's 30th anniversary, get off to good start despite cloudy skies

June 14, 2014

By Junious Smith III, The Free Press, Kinston, N.C.



June 14--Rain in the forecast was not going to spoil a good time for Kinston residents.

Hundreds came out for the first Sand in the Streets concert of the summer in Pearson Park on Thursday, kicking off the Pride of Kinston's 30-year anniversary. There will be seven more concerts throughout the summer.

Pride of Kinston Executive Director Adrian King said the organization considered switching the event to Grainger-Hill Performing Arts Center, but decided to keep the original location despite the possibility of stormy weather.

"Given the prognostications of the weather, I went with my gut to keep the event here," King said. "I took a gamble and it paid off, but I had a lot of anxious moments, including when it rained around 4 p.m. (two hours before the event.)"

While the rain held off for a majority of the event, The Embers, featuring Craig Woolard, kept the crowd entertained throughout the event during the popular summer series, with the community enjoying music, food and dancing.

Kinston resident Levy Massey said he loves to dance and was one of the first to start moving to the music to get others comfortable.

"The band is great and someone has to start it up," Massey said. "After I got done, others started doing the same thing."

Kinston resident Shirley J. Thaggard said she comes out to the concerts as often as she can.

"I love The Embers and love being out here at the park for the concerts," Thaggard said. "It's relaxing and something to do off work."

Bailey Humphrey, a rising senior at North Lenoir, said she has enjoyed several concerts in the past, including this one.

"I definitely like the atmosphere out here," Humphrey said.

Eliza Newton, a rising senior at Arendell Parrott Academy, said this was her first time coming to a Sand in the Streets event.

"I'll definitely come back when I can," Newton said.

Bob Moore, who resides in Kinston, said he is a fan of the genre.

"I love beach music, and in my younger days I would dance a lot," Moore said. "My granddaughter got me to come out here (Thursday.)"

Charley Walker, Moore's granddaughter, said she was in town from Georgia and had enjoyed some concerts at Pearson Park in previous years.

"I'm not here that often, so I wanted to come out here and have a good time," Walker said.

Kinston resident Dolph Mintz said he enjoyed seeing everyone having a good time.

"It's just a nice night in Eastern North Carolina, with familiar music that makes everyone feel right at home and yearn for the weekend," Mintz said.

King said Pearson Park is one of the reasons why Sand in the Streets has a good turnout.

"The park is what makes the event magical," King said. "It's not just the music and the band, but being able to connect with your neighbors and friends here. It's not a concert, it's a social event.

"I want to thank everyone who came out (last night.) I love it."

The next Sand in the Streets event will be held at 7 p.m. on June 19 with Symphony on the River featuring the North Carolina Symphony.

Junious Smith III can be reached at 252-559-1077 and Junious.Smith@Kinston.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JuniousSmithIII.

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(c)2014 The Free Press (Kinston, N.C.)

Visit The Free Press (Kinston, N.C.) at www.kinston.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Kinston Free Press (NC)


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