Clarke kicks off Concert in Park series

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 30, 2005

The sound of children’s laughter, the scent of freshly grilled burgers and the sight of clear blue skies and late afternoon sunshine met those who gathered in Confederate Park on Thursday to enjoy an outdoor concert – Main Street’s Concert in the Park, to be exact.

After stormy weather forced the cancellation of the first scheduled concert with Robert Williamson last week,

prayers were answered and beautiful spring weather welcomed this week’s performer, Christen Clarke, Miss Great Greenville 2005. Many brought folding chairs, blankets and quilts – even their pet Chihuahuas –

so they could relax and enjoy a beautiful evening in the park.

&uot;Isn’t this just wonderful weather? It’s ideal,&uot; said concert attendee, Priscilla Davis, as she strolled over to purchase a burger basket from the Miss Greater Greenville Scholarship Board members.

The Miss GG ladies were on hand to provide a tasty meal for music lovers while they raised funds for the scholarship program.

Clarke, sporting her sparkling Miss Greater Greenville crown, performed a number of songs for the crowd,

including pop standards, patriotic numbers and show tunes. One particular hit was the old tune &uot;Bill Bailey&uot;, with an encore performed by request. Clarke also did a blues-y acapella rendition of &uot;Birth of the Blues&uot; for her appreciative audience.

Miss GG Director Sue Arnold thanked everyone for coming out to support Christen and introduced the board members manning the burger bar.

&uot;I want to thank all the board members for all their hard work and a special thank you to Christen for traveling up here from Mobile to join us again,&uot; said Arnold.

During an intermission , Amanda Phillips, director of the Greenville Area YMCA, spoke briefly about the upcoming &uot;Healthy Kids Day&uot; fundraiser, slated for May 21. It’s a project the local Y is undertaking with the assistance of Clarke (whose Miss Alabama platform centers around good health and fitness for children).

&uot;We want our children to see that exercise can be fun and not a chore so they will incorporate it into their everyday lives,&uot; said Phillips.

Clarke also addressed the issue. &uot;We have parents who want to come and work out at the Y after work but they need something for their kids to do during their time there.

&uot;We want to raise funds so we can purchase special exercise equipment for the children. Then, they can also work at getting fit just like their parents,&uot; Clarke said.

(More details of the upcoming &uot;Kid’s Day&uot; will be featured in future editions of The Advocate.)

Following her performance, Clarke signed photos for some of the children present at the concert.

She will return to Greenville next weekend to perform at the Relay For Life at the fairgrounds.

The Miss GG Board had few burgers and a wad of bills after the concert. Board member Jill Stallworth pronounced the evening a &uot;great&uot; one.

&uot;The weather really cooperated with us this time,&uot; said Main Street Executive Director Nancy Idland, who had earlier encouraged the crowd to come out each Thursday evening at 6 p.m. for weekly concerts through May – weather permitting, of course. The Greenville High School Band is slated to perform next week.

For more information on upcoming concerts, contact Nancy Idland at 382-3041.