• 61°

Welcome to the 28039: East Spencer rocks its first Southern Soul Music Festival

By Mark Wineka
mark.wineka@salisburypost.com

EAST SPENCER — When you put on the first of anything, you don’t know what to expect, but somewhere the spirit of Eleanor Qadirah is happy.

East Spencer held its inaugural Southern Soul Music Festival Saturday and by most any measure, especially when the musicians took the stage in the early evening, it was a success.

The music from three acts — Destiny Stone, Livehouse and the Jazz Revolution Band — was top shelf. The sound system was great. The crowd kept building with the night.

And it possibly brought to East Spencer its first signature event in a long time.

Alderman Tony Hillian, who served as the festival emcee, suggested with others that the Southern Soul Music Festival could fill the void created by the death of Qadirah, who for a couple of decades spearheaded the Rowan Blues & Jazz Festival in Salisbury.

That music event was almost always held in the fall, as maybe this one will be.

Hillian said the Southern Soul Music Festival provides “something to bring us back to life” and create a new energy in East Spencer.

“It’s put a great atmosphere down here,” Hillian said.

Mayor Barbara Mallett agreed, and she stressed that it was a festival not just for East Spencer but all of Rowan County, and showing that East Spencer belonged.

“We can take our rightful seat at the table, and that’s what we’ve worked for,” Mallett said Saturday as the music continued. “… Everybody sees that East Spencer is here. We’re so happy.”

This first festival was held, as Hillian said from the stage, in the 28039 (East Spencer’s zip code) and in “downtown East Spencer.”

The event took place on the lawn, side street and parking lot adjacent to the former Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ administration building, which once had been East Spencer High.

East Spencer firefighters listened to the music from their station across Long Street.

Many people attending brought their own lawn chairs or sat at picnic tables brought in for the event.

Food trucks from several different cities provided fish, dipped chicken, barbecue, funnel cake and popcorn, along with the Pelican’s Snoballs truck from Salisbury.

Alderwoman Deloris High was among those who sold East Spencer T-shirts and hoodies, which carried the slogan “The Original Southern City,” a nod to East Spencer’s first name.

Several tents also were set up in the lawn of the old school, representing among other things, candidates for November’s municipal election and opportunities to sign up for 2020 Census employment.

Festival sponsors included Fast Stop, Miller Davis Agency, Rowan County, Novant Health, the town of East Spencer, F&M Bank, Rowan Arts Council and Joe Morris.

Hillian gave a lot of credit to Miller Davis for all the help the company provided in equipment and direction Saturday. As the daylight faded, lights came on for the last performers.

Hillian said future festival plans are to expand and block off a portion of Long Street, where the stage would be placed.

In all, Saturday’s festival lasted from 1-9 p.m., though the music itself did not start until 5 p.m.

“I’ve had an awesome time tonight,” Stone told the crowd as she wound up her set.

She was not alone.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

 

Comments

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured

Education

Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12

Local

Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September

Lifestyle

Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers

Education

Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners

Business

Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs

Columns

Amy-Lynn Albertson: Arts and Ag Farm Tour set for June 5

High School

High school baseball: Mustangs top Falcons on strength of hurlers

Business

Biz Roundup: Application process now open for Rowan Chamber’s 29th Leadership Rowan class

Sports

Keith Mitchell leads McIlroy, Woodland by 2 at Quail Hollow

Nation/World

States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes

Nation/World

Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack

News

NC budget dance slowed as GOP leaders differ on bottom line

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time