The pastoral fields of the James L. Morgan Recreational Complex were rocking this week as more than 400 people turned up for the first ever “Laurinburg After Five” to be held at the location.
Featuring live music, children’s games and food, “Laurinburg After Five” is one of the most popular events sponsored by the Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce, according to organizers.
“I thought it was great,” said Chamber President Tonia Stephenson.
Attending Thursday night’s event for the first time, Stephenson said that it achieved all of its goals.
“It was a beautiful scene. There were kids running around having fun, people out dancing and the band was fantastic,” Stephenson said.
Stephenson added that she was thankful that the dark clouds which threatened the evening mostly held off their rain, allowing the party to continue until after 9 p.m.
“For any outdoor event you’re always concerned about the weather … but it all turned out OK,” she said.
Attracting families to the event was a priority for the chamber this year, and one of the reasons for the change in venue from St. Andrews University where the event has been held in years past.
“We are very grateful to St. Andrews because they stepped up back when there was no place else to hold an event like this. They were so gracious for fifteen years to host us … (but) we just felt like it was time to try something different. With the playgrounds and open spaces we have more children’s activities now,” Stephenson said.
Chamber Chairman David McLamb presented Glenn Batten of St. Andrews University with a plaque in honor of the school’s 15 years as host. McLamb praised St. Andrews University and said that the school was integral to process which led to “Laurinburg After Five” becoming a social staple in the Scotland County community.
Attending with her two children, chamber employee Jennifer McRae said that the new location did present some advantages over its predecessor.
“With two little kids it was nice to have a place for their activities and a bouncy castle and it was also nice to have an actual bathroom rather than (temporary facilities),” McRae said.
Responsible for the evening’s entertainment, the band “Too Much Sylvia” was a hit with attendees, mixing comedy with covers of classic rock and pop tunes.
“’Too Much Sylvia’ was great and so was the crowd and the food – it was just what you would hope for,” McRae added.
Headed by Kim Liles, the planning group responsible for the event is scheduled to meet next week to review Thursday’s edition of “Laurinburg After Five.”
Planning is already underway for next month’s production.