First Posted: 8/23/2009
From the sound of bands rocking out on the stage to the splash of the dunk tank, Downtown Rocks was full of the noises of people having fun.
The second annual event helped United Fund of Surry kick off its campaign in the area Saturday night on Franklin Street. A crowd descended on the parking lot throughout the night as those with small children showed up early in the evening with more and more coming as it got later.
Kicking off the event was Peace of Mind, a band from Mount Airy Middle School, who then paved the way for NF52, a band made up of freshmen at Surry Central High School.
Later in the evening, Mid-life Crisis took to the stage with beach music and oldies before headliner Mediocre Bad Guys rounded off the evening.
Downtown Rocks brought in more children in its second year as there were activities for the whole family. There was an entire area dedicated to kids with plenty of arts and crafts as well as the opportunity to win a goldfish, throw a basketball and dunk someone in the dunking booth.
I think especially as it gets a little later people will be coming out, said Nancy Malone, as she listened to NF52 perform with her family. And you get to see everybody you know.
The dunking booth drew a crowd of adults as well who took it in turn to egg on the kids and even take a few shots themselves. Sheriff Graham Atkinson could not seem to stay dry as Chuck Graham stepped up to the plate at the dunking booth. However, it was all in good fun with Graham and Surry County Schools Superintendent Dr. Ashley Hinson heckling those trying to dunk them.
Freddie, the Mount Airy Fire Departments interactive fire truck, caused a stir throughout the event, taking it in turn to play with kids and follow adults around. While some of the kids were a little hesitant to approach this talking fire truck at first, many warmed up to him in just a few minutes with a couple of kids even trying to go for a ride.
There was also a real fire truck, a rescue squad and a police car on site for people to tour.
Its a beautiful night so I brought my husband, my daughter and my son out to enjoy and support the United Fund, said Malone.
Many people turned out just for the music, being followers of one or more of the bands. The music could be heard several blocks away, drawing some people in out of curiosity.
Im just getting out and listening to the music, said Dale Slate. This is a real good idea.
With the security at the event and a fence designed to separate the event from the traffic along the road, parents were comfortable letting their kids move from activity to activity on their own. As long as the tickets held out, the kids were happy with that, delighting in winning a goldfish of their very own or sporting blue lips from the snow cones.
This is a good family event, said Malone.
The United Fund of Surry provides its 27-member agencies in the community with health and human service needs. The goal set for this years fundraising campaign is $500,000.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.