Music in the park

Carrollton adds
new musical, cultural events

First ‘Music in the Park’ concert crowd
bodes well for more upcoming events

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

(July, 2002) CARROLLTON, Ky. – Since its opening act June 8, Carrollton’s new Music in the Park series going on this summer and fall at the Butler-Turpin State Historic House at Gen. Butler State Resort Park seems headed for certain success.
Tim Lake and The Little Big Band performed at that inaugural June concert. More bands are scheduled to perform in July and subsequent months.
Dubbed the “Play It Again” series, four bands that appear in June and July will return in September and October to perform on the lawn at the Butler-Turpin House. The series was made possible by a grant from the Carrollton-Carroll County Tourism Commission in conjunction with park officials.
Robin Caldwell, tourism director, said she would like to see the formation of an “annual concert series that will upgrade the essence of the park. The park has tremendous facilities.” The Butler-Turpin House has recently undergone renovations.

Music in the park cover

This series is for local residents and tourists to enjoy, Caldwell said. She is hoping the series will bring about an “awareness of the Butler-Turpin House.”
Evelyn Welch, the site’s museum manager, agreed that this was a great way to create a new interest in the Butler-Turpin House. The home is a functioning example of one family’s contribution to Carroll County’s history.
Tours of the house will be given before, during and after the concerts for only $3 per adult and $1 per child (ages 6-12). Krosti and Vicky Wainscott Georgiev, owners of River Valley Winery in Carroll County, are selling their wine by the glass and bottle at these concerts.
The scheduled performers for July are Circle of Friends, a gospel band, on July 13 and Kentucky Wild Horse, which plays original folk songs, on July 27. All concerts begin at 7 p.m. The public is encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.
Tim Lake will return on Sept. 7. He is a singer-songwriter, composer, performer and teacher born in Manhattan, N.Y., and raised in Lexington, Ky. Having been a professional musician for more than 20 years, he has released nine CDs of original songs. Playing primarily banjo and guitar, Lake’s music ranges from classical and jazz to blues and bluegrass.
Circle of Friends is a local group known for their fast-paced gospel hymns and unique sound. Band members combine a variety of musical backgrounds, culminating in songs using traditional folk, contemporary Christian and barbershop sounds.
Kentucky Wild Horse is a fairly new band, said member John Harrod. “I’ve been involved in Kentucky music all my life,” said the Shelby County, Ky., native.
The five-member band hails from all over the state of Kentucky and will give a repeat performance Oct. 5.
“I’ve played at the Park, been a part of Point in Time with the Bottom Dollar Band, and had parts in a historical monologue,” Harrod said. “I’m glad to see these cultural events happening.”
Ten Penny Bit, a spirited Celtic band from Louisville, closes out the series Oct. 19. This band played at the park June 22.
Their music is best described on their website as “fast-paced Celtic music with a lively southern feel.” The band draws on its own state’s musical heritage, as well as the music of their ancestors from the Celtic region of Europe.
Susan Carlisle, who sits on the Tourism Commission board of directors, attended the first Music in the Park performance. The general atmosphere is what appealed to her most.
“It was a beautiful summer evening, with free entertainment at a state park.” Carlisle said that many people don’t realize what a great asset the park is to the community.
Board president Charlie Webster said that for an event like this to get off the ground, the idea must be submitted by an individual or group to the Carrollton-Carroll County Tourism Commission. If the idea is accepted, the commission grants “seed money to start the event, then they (the individual or group) can continue with it.”
In the future, “they will hopefully be on their own,” he said.
This event and others, such as the upcoming Rumble on the River speed boat exhibition in early August, are geared toward bringing visitors into the area. These events are spread out across the country, making use of three main areas: the Gen. Butler, Point Park on the Ohio River and the Carroll County Fairgrounds, located behind the Butler Outlet Mall on Hwy. 227.
Webster labeled these areas “three good locations” for showcasing what Carroll County has to offer culturally.
A major event in the works is “Back to the Past for the Future,” a bluegrass-gospel bash slated for Oct. 12-13 at the fairgrounds. Nationally known bands will be featured, with the proceeds going to local youth, said Caldwell.
Webster said the Tourism Commission wants to offer vacationers a variety of events from which to choose, possibly influencing them to stay in the area longer. The commissions responsibility is “to put more heads in beds,” said Webster. The bed tax largely funds the tourism commission.
The threat of competition from hotels and events going on in other communities also plays a large part in the creation of these new events. Webster said new hotels in Madison, Ind., and accommodations at Belterra Casino Resort provide visitors with more choices of where to stay and things to do, drawing them out of Carrollton.
Carlisle said that if visitors plan in advance, such as many have done for Rumble, there should be no trouble in accommodating everyone.
When scheduling events, the commission must make sure “events are not in conflict with other major events,” said Carlisle. Commission members must consider the Kentucky Speedways racing schedule and other large festivals in the area.
“We want to highlight each event separately,” she said.

• For information on Music in the Park, call 1-800-325-4290.

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