By Katie Benfield
Each summer, the Newland Business Association hosts its Riverwalk Concert Series, presenting a different band every week on Fridays from 6-9 p.m. at the Riverwalk Park and bandshell below the Lowe’s Foods parking lot. These concerts are free and open to the public. Join them for good times, good music and a fireworks show for the season finale this week!
According to Steve York, member of the NBA, the series had a large variety of bands playing this year, ranging from swing bands to bluegrass and fusion bands that play a little bit of everything.
“It’s been really fun,” York said. “I mean, it’s really been a great mix of music, and a lot of them are very well-known in the community and that’s drawn a fairly large crowd, especially in Newland.”
This Friday will be the last concert of the series, featuring the Road Tripp Band, a traditional and contemporary country rock band that’s one of the most popular of their genre in the community.
However, listening to an awesome band play entertaining music isn’t the only thing people can look forward to for the concert series finale.
There will be a huge fireworks display happening at the event to finish the series and end the summer with a literal bang.
“It’s like the cherry on top of the whipped cream,” York said. “It’s how we want to cap off the summer.”
Along with the fireworks, there will be a prize drawing in which people enter like a raffle. Prizes include vacations and cruises from Miami to Cozumel, tickets to the Polar Express train in Bryson City, horseback riding trips courtesy of Elk Mountain Riding Cmpany.
“It’s great, they’re set up on Elk Mountain, so you’ll be riding over a lot of scenery and acres and acres of land and beautiful views,” York said. “You get to choose the horse that fits your experience level, and if you have no experience riding horses, don’t worry. They have people there to help you.”
The money raised through raffle ticket sales this year will be split three ways between the NBA, a local charity and the winner of the 10 for $5 raffle drawing.
“We just thought it made more sense to give all the money to one charity,” York said. “That way, one charity is receiving a lot of money, instead of a bunch of charities only receiving a little bit.”
The charity for this year hasn’t been selected yet, but it will be decided on Friday night, and the drawing for the prizes and money will happen around 7:30 p.m. during the concert.
The environment of the concerts are fun, exciting and they bring the community together each week, both locally and non-locally, all of who can enjoy a laid-back and relaxed night of good music and even better company.
This Friday will be the best one yet, with fireworks, a raffle and a charity awarding all in one night, and it’ll be the best way to end the summer and start this new year off right.
“It’ll be sort of like a second fourth of July,” York said. “Kind of like the last hurrah of the summer.”
Following this finale of the concert series, the NBA will be presenting several events in the fall, such as the Pumpkin Festival, which is the same weekend as the Wooly Worm Festival, and the Christmas parade. More information on those will be released as the dates approach.
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