Businesses look forward to boost from return of Port Royal Street Music

emoody@beaufortgazette.comJuly 24, 2013 

The town of Port Royal's free Street Music concerts are set to return next month, and business owners say they appreciate the boost the events usually create.

"It's good for us because it brings people into Port Royal, because there's not a lot of reasons to come down Paris Avenue anymore," said Jeff Harris, co-owner of Moondoggies Cafe & Grill.

The concerts are produced by ARTworks and paid for by the town of Port Royal. The two, four-concert series cost about $20,000 in all. All concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. near the end of Paris Avenue. Attendees often bring food, beverages, chairs and blankets and set up more than an hour beforehand.

The location is perfect for Smokin' Planks co-owner Larry Plank, who opened about a year ago. The stage is just a few dozen feet from his door.

"We were kind of hidden back there, and when they come to hear these bands, they say, 'Oh gee, I didn't know there was a barbecue place back here,' " he said. "I think it promotes a lot of people to come to the area for sure."

Rain, however, can put a damper on the economic boost, said Sammie Harris, Moondoggies co-owner. Regulars often make reservations for before the concerts, but wet weather tends to make people less likely to celebrate after the event.

"But if the weather is good, we might have an onslaught afterward," she said.

Series producer J.W. Rone, executive director of ARTworks, said he's excited that several of the acts have performed at the Street Music series before or played during other Beaufort-area events. New faces will appear, as well.

"We're bringing back some of everybody's favorite performers and introducing them to some new performers," he said.

Among the highlights, he said, is the first Irish music of the series and a trio of blues players who will be an introduction to a blues festival ARTworks is planning for Nov. 9. Details of that festival will be announced later.

The Carroll Brown Celtic Band, originally scheduled for Sept. 14, has been moved to Oct. 5 so as to not conflict with a concert in the Beaufort-area by "American Idol" winner Candice Glover, Rone said.

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin. The series schedule is:

  • Aug. 17: Ronstadt Generations from Tucson, History Through Music
  • Aug. 31: Dwayne Dopsie and the Zyedco Hell Raisers from New Orleans
  • Sept. 14: Carroll Brown Celtic Band
  • Sept. 28: a Trio of Blues Masters: Andy Cohen, from Memphis; Walter Liniger, from Columbia; Eleanor Ellis, from Washington, D.C.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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