Monday, May 6, 2013

Clay County Ready to Sizzle

News to Know
by Kelly Caldwell
Artwork by Tommy Moorehead and Photo by Jennifer Alam


Summer Sizzle celebrates 10 years  of delivering music to the local communities when it kicks off its season July 4th.

"The Clay County Arts League created Summer Sizzle to showcase local talents," Barbara Pollard, event organizer, said. "And, we have tried our best to stick to that philosophy."
The first night of the music series will feature Clay County's own Kevin Moon in what has become known as Patriotic Night.

"Our first night is always dedicated to our active and retired military and this year its extra special because it actually falls on Fourth of July," Pollard said.

Everyone is encouraged to bring their lawn chairs for a night under the stars and expect to be entertained by some of the best local artists around.

On July 11, Talladega's Heritage Hall Jazz Band under the direction of Jeff Wood is slated to entertain the crowds with their Big Band Jazz sound.

July 18th will feature Southern gospel music with Hope's Journey starring Vonda Easley, Chris Clay and Tracey Kelly . Master's Clay featuring Shotgun Giddens will also perform.
The month-long series will conclude with "Gospel Hour - Clay County Style."

"I have always watched Gaither Gospel Hour and have been to so many singings in Clay County, that I knew we could have something similar here," Pollard said. "So I went to Kenneth Yates to help me pull this one together."

Last year, Gospel Hour- Clay County Style featured more than 60 gospel singers that entertained more than likely Summer Sizzle's largest crowd to date. The Gospel Hour will also feature Redemption Song with Trent and Jessica Adams, Tony Jones, Jennifer Barron and Judd Hurst on keyboard.

"We are really hoping to average 1,500 to 2,000 people this year," Pollard said. "If the weather holds, we should be able to reach that goal."

Each Thursday in July, Lineville City Park turns  into a music venue complete with live radio remotes by Alabama 100.7.

"We are so excited to be a part of Summer Sizzle this year," Teresa Goodman, WCKF/ Alabama 100.7 station manager said. "We do the live remote and this year we will be decorating the stage every week.
"It is a great community event and we are proud to have it in Clay County."

Pollard realized in the early stages of Summer Sizzle that she could only do so much to make the event a success, and is the first to admit the Clay County Arts League could not achieve their goals without the help of the local media.

"It's like I say, I could get Elvis Presley on this stage, but if it weren't for the newspaper and radio people, no one would know about it," Pollard said. "They have done so much to help us over the years and I credit some of our success to them."

The free event also would not be possible without the help of sponsors and grant opportunities.

"We sell ad space on our fans and of course we sell concessions to help cover the cost," Pollard said.

Summer Sizzle is every Thursday in July with music starting at 7 p.m. each night. The concert series is free to the public, but everyone is encouraged to bring their lawn chairs. Concessions will also be sold.


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