Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 21, 2017

Heat, humidity doesn’t stop the rockin’

Jul 24, 2017
Photo by: Brooks Taylor The block was rocking Friday night. The second block party of the summer also served as a health fair and personnel at the Henry County Health Center’s booth were kept busy.

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News

 

Heat and humidity may have reduced the number of attendees at Friday night’s Mt. Pleasant Chamber Alliance’s Rock Around the Block, but it did not stifle the enthusiasm of those attending.

Friday night’s band, “Jive Radio,” had a big role in that treating the middle-aged crowd to many of the songs they sang while road tripping.

Karen Smith and Stuart Swanson of Mt. Pleasant just happened to be driving past Central Park and the music prompted them to check it out. Smith admitted this is the first “rock” she has attended. “We like the band. We were on our way home but then heard the band and decided to stop and get something to munch on.”

Swanson said he wished he could stay longer “but I have some lung issues and don’t take the heat real well.”

A few paces to the west of Smith and Swanson, Emery Styron, former publisher of The Mt. Pleasant News, was manning the county Democratic Party booth.

Styron, looking to the western sky, said it was going to be a good night. “I think the weather is going to give us a break. The breeze is nice and the clouds are rolling in.”

He said Friday night’s event gave him an opportunity to reconnect with people. “When I was with the newspaper, I saw people all the time. Now, I don’t see near the people I used to.”

The community health fair was part of Friday night’s festivities. Devan Rhum of the Henry County Health Center, said that the event was good exposure for the facility. “We have had a steady crowd and have been talking to people. Most of the people are telling us they really enjoy the band.”

There were also “freebies” at the health center’s booth — bags, cups and cozies.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Department was also collecting discarded prescription pills and bottles. County Sheriff Rich McNamee said about a half dozen people had brought handfuls of old prescriptions thus far. “We do this twice a year (this was not one of the two scheduled events) and usually dispose of 100 pounds or so each time.

“The hospital asked us if we wanted to do it and we couldn’t refuse,” McNamee continued. “We’re always taking things to them and they aren’t always good things.”

The Mt. Pleasant News was the premier sponsor for Friday’s Rock Around the Block. Karyn Spory, News managing editor, said that it was a strong desire of The News to be the sponsor. “We wanted to be the premier sponsor because we know how successful these events are. We wanted to give back to the community we cover and show another side of the newspaper.”

In addition to being the premier sponsor, The News came up with the perfect game for a hot night — a firefighter water hose game on a much smaller level for the young fry. “I always looked forward to the firemen’s hose battles when I was a kid, so I thought this would be a good game on a hot night.”

Spory noticed the crowd was picking up but it would be difficult to beat June’s rock in both attendance and weather. “There is a huge difference between last month and tonight. It was 73 degrees for the June one, you couldn’t have asked for a better night.”

Matt Granquist was keeping the crowd hydrated with a beverage stand on the north side of the park. He said business was booming with Bush Light, the best seller thus far. “It is going very well. It is a hot day and people are thirsty, so we are getting a lot of attention. We are giving them some relief from the heat.”

Judy Ridinger of Mt. Pleasant was sitting under a tree in front of the band. She said she tries to come to each Rock Around the Block during the summer. “I come all the time and the heat isn’t bothering me.”

Ridinger said those who stayed home missed out on a good time. “I know the heat cut the crowd, but that is too bad because this is really a good band.”

Rock Around the Block is scheduled for the fourth Friday of the month from June through August.

 

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