By Rebecca Gitlen
June 18, 2012. The Boone Kiwanis Club and Southern Appalachian Historical Association (SAHA) are opening a new free concert series tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Horn in the West Theater in Boone. The free concert series will raise money for Kiwanis charities and projects, as well as local musicians, through a raffle at each event. Other civic groups, like the Kiwanis Club of Avery County, generate about $1,700 on any given night when they host these types of concerts, said Michelle Ligon, chair of SAHA.
Local sponsors are also backing the effort, which will promote local business as part of the series.
“We want everybody to find the local attractions, to buy local and eat local,” said Kiwanis coordinator Steve Frank.
Concerts are 6 to 8 p.m. every Monday, ending on Labor Day.
Patrons are invited to bring lawn chairs, as seating will be in the grassy area leading to the theater. SAHA will open the Horn in the West concession stand, but feel free to bring a picnic as well.
Kiwanis wanted Boone to have a fairly large concert facility outdoors that could accommodate more people than the Jones House lawn. At Horn in the West, they found a family friendly setting that could host more than 500 guests looking for entertainment on a Monday night.
The series kicks off with Smoky Breeze, a local group of guys that play 60s soul music like the Temptations and Smoky Robinson, Frank said.
“These guys really nail it,” Frank said.
Other groups scheduled include The Lucky Strikes, The Watauga Community Band, The Silvio Martinat Swing Band, Uphill Both Ways and High Standards.
In May, SAHA requested permission from the Town of Boone to allow the Kiwanis Club to hold these concerts. Boone’s town planner, Bill Bailey, brought up the zoning issue of having neighborhoods and a funeral home so close to the concerts, said Michelle Ligon, chairwoman of SAHA.
Obviously, the issues have been resolved, but to be an extra good neighbor, Frank has asked Boone police to attend the concert and to bring noise meters.
“I asked them to come and take noise levels to know what we can and can’t do,” Frank said. “We’re looking to comply with the noise ordinance and to be good neighbors.”
Frank said he told the town the concerts wouldn’t be any louder than the musket shots that go off during Horn in the West productions.
“If we can pull it off,” Frank said, “and if weather permits, I think everybody will have a great time.”