Some of my earliest memories as a child in Scotland County were of my Mom and Dad getting our things together to spend some time enjoying the spring weather and tunes at Concerts in the Park. These events were sponsored by the Laurinburg Jaycees and I recall them being held at Market and Hammond Parks. Back in the 70’s and 80’s if there was an event in Scotland County, the Jaycee’s made it happen. I’m not sure how many people realize how instrumental the Laurinburg Jaycee’s were in the success of Scotland County during that time but I hope this article does some justice in honoring those members that served this community. From what I been told, they had a ton of fun doing it.
Concerts in the Park would be one of my first introductions to live music and showmanship. These bands were not just about singing or playing, they were entertainers. I can remember the powerful brass sections in these bands that would eventually lead me to play the trumpet. I would later learn that I’m not that musically inclined but it’s still the horns that get my attention. The sound of trumpets and the trombone along with a couple of saxophones would kick out the harmony of familiar rhythm and blues or beach music songs everybody knew. These concerts were family-friendly and were enjoyed by everyone in the community.
If you fast-forward a couple decades to 1997 the first Laurinburg After 5 was held at St. Andrews. I thought this was a fantastic way to kick-off summer. The Band of Oz performed the season’s opening concert. I also remember seeing Coastline for the first time and Jim Quick put on a show for the hometown crowd as always. There were huge crowds at these events which originally started on Thursday evenings. It was a way for individuals as well as families to get out and enjoy socializing, a great way to relax and celebrate the end of the workweek or a fantastic way to network with others in the business community.
I didn’t realize until I started writing this article that 20 years had gone by since the first Laurinburg After 5 series took place. Also the band that kicked it off back in 1997 will be our opening concert this year. For 50 years The Band of Oz has been rocking the Carolina’s and they will get the Summer started for Scotland County with their brand of Carolina Beach Music.
Concerts in Scotland County have always offered opportunities to socialize and fellowship with friends and associates or make new acquaintances. It is a wonderful time for children to interact and play as well as get a little taste of Live Music. There will be good food, good drink, and good fun. This year’s diverse line-up is sure to entertain and offer excitement for everyone.
This year we are moving Laurinburg After 5 back to Thursdays with the understanding that a lot of people go out of town on the weekends. We hope that those folks will want to get the weekend started early at our Laurinburg After 5 events. This schedule is listed below:
5/25 – Band of Oz
6/22 – Silk Groove
7/27 – Hip Pocket
8/24 – Jim Quick & Coastline.
Laurinburg After 5 will be at the James L. Morgan Complex at 1206 State Rd Turnpike Rd, Laurinburg, NC 28352. Gates will open at 5:30 with the concerts beginning at 6:00. Admission for adults will be $2.00, children under 12 are free when accompanied with adult.
Chris English, executive director of the Laurinburg-Scotland County Chamber of Commerce, wrote this week’s Focus on Scotland, an effort by community leaders on making Laurinburg/Scotland County a better place to work, live, and play.