Friday, March 22, 2013

Third Thursday In Summerville Is The Hottest Monthly Event In The Lowcountry-March's Edition Warmed The Chill

Hutchinson Square
The calendar indicates it is spring, but the temperatures outside remain uncharacteristically, southern chilly. Despite this annoying and persistent chill in the air, it could not keep residents and visitors of Summerville from enjoying one of the hottest monthly events in the Lowcountry, Third Thursday. This highly popular and acclaimed event affords attendees the enriching opportunity to experience and feel what is an everyday occurrence on the streets and in the shops of downtown Summerville, warm hospitality and uplifting community pride. I for one wouldn't miss it for all the sweet tea in the Lowcountry and D.R.E.A.M.'s March lineup of supporting amenities was shaping up to be very entertaining.

W.R.E.S. Music Ensemble
My first planned stop for the evening was at one of Summerville's fast-becoming the number one hot spot, Coastal Coffee Roasters. Don't let the name fool you into thinking it is strictly a place to get some top-notch roasted coffee. It is much more. Upon exiting my truck across from CCR's white, brick building on East 3rd North Street, I could hear the sound of a drum beat emulating from the building. Inside there was standing room only, mainly proud, smiling parents, and a group of 18 kids comprising a music ensemble from the Reeves and Joseph Pye Elementary Drumming Club. All were rhythmically beating in unison on drums and having a good time, including the brave teacher who cued and directed the talented group of youngsters.

My next stop was the heart of downtown Summerville, historic Hutchinson Square. Evidence of Summerville's predominant spring flower was everywhere. The colorful azaleas were in full bloom. The smell of freshly popped kettle corn laced the air. The usual tents and booths lined the walkways. The sounds of light conversation and laughter emanated from the tables outside of Accent on Wine. The music and words of "Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire" warmed the crowd that gathered around the wooden, wagon stage and Jimmy Buffets' "Margaritaville" took them momentarily to tropical places.
The Vistas
The Vistas, one of the area's favorite party bands, were center stage in Hutchinson Square and dressed in their usual black suits and sun glasses, Blues Brothers style. A definite crowd-pleaser who sing with passion, the Vistas overcame the cool nip in the air and played like pros, even after all warmth had fled the night with the setting of the sun.

Ernie Eliason
I happened to bump into a pirate named Don Pedro(Ernie Eliason) before leaving the square. The finely dressed buccaneer was on shore leave giving the land lovers a peek at what to expect for the Flowertown Players presentation of Much Ado About Nothing starting April 4th. I bid farewell to the villainous rogue and moved on.

The traffic police were busy directing the cars and crowds on W. Richardson where Moncks Corner's one and only ukulele band called the Hot Shots played outside of People, Places and Quilts. In the back of Guerin's Pharmacy another group of guitar players and a fiddler informally played popular tunes and even invited some passersby to join in, if they so desired.

Over on Short Central, the usual art and craft booths were set up and more home-grown talent dazzled the large crowds entering and exiting the restaurants and shops. A musical ensemble called The Padgett Band played jazzy music. I recognized the bass player, John Daniels. John is a multi-talented musician who also plays the keyboards and trumpet for the popular Summerville band called Busker, a group that performs on a regular basis at Coastal Coffee Roasters.
The Padgett Band
Fleming, Michael, Ricky, and Jessica

Flowertown Players
Dave Keller, the original Busker, took me on a four minute walk to his quaint home where I got a glimpse of what he called his man cave, a building nestled in a beautifully landscaped backyard just a few steps off a deck. It is the place where the five member band practices their songs. He graciously honored me with a new t-shirt with the bands logo on it. Summerville hospitality at its best. We returned to Short Central and the festivities.

While the band took a break, a group of youngsters from The Flowertown Players performed some small skits. Nearby, Jewel Sweeney, owner of Downtown Crossing, was tending her tent and table of handmade goods set up in front of her store where a screen door made famous by a Post and Courier article hangs at the front entrance.
Jewel Sweeney and Downtown Crossing
It was another successful night for the businesses and patrons of Summerville, and it is only a prelude of what is to come. The cool weather will eventually give way to warmer days. I would be totally surprised if three weeks into April the chill of March would still be hanging around. Come on over for a visit April 18th. Join the fun and experience one of the hottest monthly events in the Lowcountry. I'll be there and would like to meet you. By the way, don't forget the 2013 Flowertown Festival in Azalea Park will soon be upon us, April 5-7.

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