Summer Soundsto fill the air

ELIZABETHTOWN —Downtown Elizabethtown will be filled with the sounds of summer on Thursday when the Band of Oz kicks off the first Summer Sounds concert series at the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market.

The four-event concert series is being presented by the Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, with the Bladen Journal as its platinum sponsor.

The Band of Oz, a Cammy award-winning band out of Raleigh well-known for its Carolina beach music since forming in 1967, will open the series Thursday at 6 p.m. The concert is free and open top the public, while food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Chamber President Charlotte Smith said the concert series is a way to provide both local residents and vacationers at White Lake a fun-filled evening, much like other communities provide during the summer months.

“Dawn Maynard, our Chamber’s executive director, and Ashley Dowless, marketing director at Cape Fear Valley, came up with the idea last year,” Smith said. “The response from citizens in Bladen County, our business owners and from people outside our county was huge and everyone was asking for more concerts.”

She added the Chamber board decided that, since the concert last year was so successful, they would try to have a series of concerts this year.

“Now, everywhere you go people are talking about how excited they are about the upcoming concerts,” said Smith.

She added that Thursday’s concert will be terrific kickoff to the series.

“The Band of Oz is one of the most successful beach music bands in southeastern North Carolina,” Smith said. “The band receives the very best reviews and is a coveted band to book. The band features a full horn section to create a dynamic eight-member group.”

Smith said all the concerts will be free to the public, thanks to the many sponsors. Some of the other top sponsors include Cape Fear Valley Hospital, Four County Electric, Bladen Builders Supply, Campbell Oil Company, Minuteman Food Mart, R.A. Jeffreys and Camp Clearwater.

Smith said other businesses will be on hand for the concerts as well.

“These concerts will be fun and a great place to network,” said Smith.

Concerts for the rest of the series will be: North Tower on July 23; the Fantastic Shakers on Aug.13; and wraps up with Blackwater Rhythm and Blues on Aug. 27.

Erin Smith can be reached at 910-862-4163.