Drivin’ N Cryin’ takes Block Party stage
by GREG KAYLOR, Banner Staff Writer
Oct 28, 2012 | 2321 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Drivin’ N Cryin’ will hit the stage at the silver anniversary of the MainStreet Cleveland Halloween Block Party Wednesday evening.

“There will be treats at every turn at the 25th annual party which begins at 5 p.m.,” said Sharon Marr, executive director for MainStreet Cleveland.

In addition to entertainment featured on three stages, more than 50 vendors including area businesses, churches, schools, and restaurants are offering plenty of food and fun to enjoy at this year’s party. Spooks and goblins will be able to find everything to eat — from Greek food to barbecue, nachos, funnel cakes, hamburgers, hotdogs, and much more. Trick-or-treaters will find plenty to fill their treat bags plus there will be giveaways, bungee jumps, commemorative photos, and much more.

“Treat Street, sponsored by Mars Chocolate will be located on Church Street in front of the Police Services Center. Treat Street opens at 6 p.m. It is a favorite among children as Church Street is transformed into a candy land for kids. Children visiting Treat Street are assured a big bag full of Mars Chocolate goodies with Cooke’s Food Store providing 10,000 orange grocery bags and Solutions Finance sponsoring 5,000 bags to hold the candy.” Marr said.

Chilhowee Dance and Performing Arts Center dancers will open the Block Party at 5 p.m., on the main state on the Courthouse Plaza.

Second Hand Smoke takes the stage at 5:30. The group is described as a “rootsy, fun rock band” playing hits from the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, according to Marr.

The popular local group, Dexter Thomas Band performs at 6:30. The Dexter Thomas Band has built a reputation as being one of the most exciting show bands in the Southeast. Their high-energy show features the outstanding vocals of India Galyean and Jonathan Jarrett and a 10-piece entourage of experienced musicians and vocalists. The band has been featured in many concert events throughout the Southeast, from headlining the Conoco Stage at Chattanooga’s Riverbend to opening for Michael Bolton in Finley Stadium. They have performed in concert with The Doobie Brothers, Bruce Hornsby, Atlanta Rhythm Section, The Guess Who, Leon Russell, The Byrds, Goose Creek Symphony, Survivor, The Temptations, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Four Tops, The Drifters, Dr. Hook, and the Coasters.

Headline entertainment for the event is Drivin’ N Cryin’ — one of the South’s hottest jam bands.

The Atlanta-based band — best known for their 1991 hit “Fly Me Courageous” is playing a 90-minute concert beginning at 8:15 p.m, thanks to a sponsorship by Check Into Cash and the company’s founder and CEO, Allan Jones.

Drivin’ N Cryin’ has toured extensively over the last 25 years and even made history by becoming the only band to share a stage with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sonic Youth and Neil Young in the same 12-month period. In 2011, the Georgia General Assembly honored the band with a resolution for their contribution to popular music, according to Marr.

In addition to the great entertainment there are many other activities.

The Costume Contest, sponsored by Mars Chocolate begins at 6 p.m. on the Fun Stage at the Post Office Annex. Costumes will be judged in age categories 0 to 2 years, 3 to 5 years, 6 to 8 years, 9 to 12 years, 13 to 15 years, and 16 and adults. Trophies will be awarded to first, second and third place in all age categories and each participant receives Halloween treats compliments of Mars Chocolate.

Following the Costume Contest, Block Party attendees can take the Fun Stage at the Post Office Annex and show off their singing talent with Karaoke by Detour DJ. Detour DJ & Audio has been providing professional DJ, sound, lighting and karaoke services since 2002. There are thousands of Karaoke songs available spanning from golden oldies to modern pop hits.

Marr said the Karaoke event is a very popular venue during the Block Party.

“Children will enjoy the DARE Midway that will be filled with air toys, including a giant slide and bouncers. The DARE Midway is sponsored by the Cleveland Police Department and Bradley County Sheriff’s Department,” Marr said.

Sponsors include at the Platinum level: Mars Chocolate North America, Jones Management Services, and Pioneer Credit; Gold level: Johnston Coca-Cola and Cleveland Police Department; Silver level: Bradley County Sheriff’s Department, Brenda Lawson & Associates, Larry Hill Ford, Waste Connections of Tennessee, Andrew Johnson Bank; and Bronze level: BB&T, Chilhowee Dance and Performing Arts Studio, Easy Auto, Ed Jacobs & Associates, First Tennessee Bank, H&R Block, and Don Ledford Automotive Center.

In-kind sponsors include Apple Valley Orchard, Bradley County, the city of Cleveland, Cleveland/Bradley Courts Community Service, Cleveland Daily Banner, Cleveland Utilities, Cooke’s Food Store and Super Saver, Cleveland Utilities, Keep America Beautiful, Shannon & Associates Advertising Group, and WCLE’s Mix 104.1.

Each year, thousands of Bradley County and Cleveland residents attend the event as well as many who live in the surrounding area.

The Block Party and annual Cleveland Christmas Parade are the two largest MainStreet Cleveland events attended by residents, according to Marr.

For more information on this free family event, contact MainStreet Cleveland at 479-1000 or visit the website www.mainstreetcleveland.com.