ELIZABETHTOWN — A brief rain delay couldn’t dampen the spirits of those who gathered at the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market on Thursday, as folks opted to follow Gene Kelly’s lead by singing and dancing in the rain as the band North Tower took to the stage.
The performance was the second in the Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s Summer Sounds Concert Series. Chamber Executive Director Dawn Maynard was thrilled with the turnout in spite of the inclement weather that passed through Bladen County earlier in the afternoon.
“Summer storms are very common around here,” said Maynard. “The rain may have held some people up just a bit.”
Maynard added that the initial forecast had her worried, but that once the storms passed through, she was excited and pleased with just a 30-minute rain delay. She also said that, in the event of inclement weather, folks can monitor the local media for updates regarding the status of the show.
She said about 600 people attended the first concert, which featured the Band of Oz. Maynard said that with the threat of inclement weather, about 400 to 500 people were estimated to be in attendance at the height of the North Tower concert on Thursday.
Maynard also said the menu selection offered by Cape Fear Chicken & Barbecue had been expanded to include corndogs, and chili-cheese fries, as well as soft drinks after several requests were made following the first concert. Also, they offered barbecue sandwiches, collard sandwiches, a plate that featured drummettes and fries as well as a barbecue plate, bottled water, and funnel cakes, to name a few things.
North Tower took to the stage at about 6:30 p.m. as conditions dried out and folks filed to the dance floor in front of the stage to strut their stuff. The band played favorites like “Carolina Girls” and a medley of Doobie Brothers hits along with original material.
The band was formed by a group of friends who were attending The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1975 and the name of the band is derived from the dormitory some of the members were residing in. The band was inducted into the Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame in 2012.
David Kirby of Dublin was in attendance and said he enjoyed the first concert so he decided to take in the sounds of North Tower.
“I think it is a good thing for the community,” said Kirby of the concert series.
Dancers Ronnie and Barbara Russ enjoyed the band as well. The couple said they have been dancing together for about 15 to 20 years. Ronnie Russ said they were taking lessons at Roland’s Dance Studio and Barbara Russ said that one evening the instructor asked if there was a particular dance the class wanted to learn.
“I said yes, we would like to learn how to shag,” said Barbara Russ.
The couple, along with firends, were enjoying the evening with its rain-cooled temperatures.
Next up for the Summer Sounds Concert Series will be the Fantasic Shakers, who will take the stage at the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13.
—Erin Smith can be reached at 910-862-4163.