The fall concert series in downtown Tifton will kick off this Friday at a new location — the newly remodeled Veterans Memorial Park, located across the street from Tifton Gardens. Concert in the Gardens will now be known as Concert in the Park. Local singers and musicians will perform at noon each Friday until late October.
The weekly Friday noontime concerts each spring and fall are sponsored by The Tifton Gazette and Main Street Tifton as a free community event.
The band, “Old Friends,” will be kicking off this fall’s Concert in the Park series at noon Friday. The band recently made their debut performance at the spring concert series.
Band member Larry Rowan of Berrien County said they enjoyed it and were pleased with the large turnout. They’re also hoping for a large crowd this Friday.
When asked about being the first group of the fall concert series to perform at a new location, he stated that Veterans Memorial Park is a great location, and he likes the way the stage is set up at the park.
Old Friends, as Rowan puts it, “is a group of guys who get together to play and love music.”
He said they call themselves “Old Friends” because that’s exactly what they are — old friends.
“We make good music and enjoy each other,” he stated.
Rowan said the group has been playing together for over 10 years with members who come and go. He noted that he joined the group over two years ago.
They meet every Tuesday night at a late member’s lake house, he stated. He said they play at nursing homes once a month, such as Tift Health Care, Maple Court and Sylvester Health Care. They recently performed at the Sumner Egg Festival and at Ed’s Truck Stop in Poulan.
Their style of music is southern gospel and classic country.
The members, who are from here and surrounding areas, are Rowan, Ronnie Pattee, Ron Winfield, A.D. White, Tommy Griffin, Gary Anderson, Ed Paulk, Lamar Nesmith, Joe Malinowski, Jim McCoy, Joanne Pitts, Leon Pate and Billy Wiggins.
“This is the typical group, but we have others who play with us sometimes,” Rowan noted.
He also stated that approximately seven or eight of the members will be performing at Friday’s concert.
Some of the instruments that they play include guitars, a dobro, a banjo, an accordion and a harmonica. Rowan said most members play the guitar and sing. White plays lead guitar; Malinowski plays the accordion; Paulk plays the harmonica; McCoy plays the dobro; and Pate plays the banjo.
“We’re very loose, not structured,” Rowan said. “We just get together to play.”
Also, Friday is POW/MIA Day. Just before the concert begins, Senior Vice Commander Tyrone “Ty” Taylor of the American Legion Post 21 will read 30 names of POW/MIAs from the state of Georgia, who fought in the Vietnam War. He will also mention the United State’s only confirmed POW in Iraq, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, assigned to the Idaho National Guard. Afterwards, a recording of Taps will be played.
Concert attendees are encouraged to park across Main Street in the Cato Knight parking lot.
To contact reporter Latasha Everson, call 382-4321.