05/05/17 — May the fourth be with you: Jammin' season begins

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May the fourth be with you: Jammin' season begins

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on May 5, 2017 8:05 AM

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Spare Change, a country and western group out of LaGrange, NC, on stage at the John Street parking lot performing for the large crowd gathered during the first annual Center Street Jam Thursday evening.

The sounds of Spare Change could be heard for blocks throughout downtown Goldsboro Thursday night during the first Center Street Jam of the season.

Hundreds of people of all ages filled the John Street parking lot for the popular concert series, which also included a few who dressed in Star Wars costumes.

The first concert of the year included a May the Fourth Be with You theme in celebration of Star Wars Day.

Quiana and Reggie Parker went to Center Street Jam for the first time, after recently learning about the concert series.

"It's a different side of Goldsboro I haven't seen before," said Quiana Parker, who lives out of town but recently started working in Goldsboro. "It's a good family atmosphere and a great way to support small businesses. We're having a great time."

Center Street Jam, sponsored by the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp., continues every other Thursday night from 6 to 9 p.m. through Aug. 24. The event is set up in downtown's John Street parking lot, at 130 N. Center St., where food vendors and a beer wagon are stationed.

Gayle Kotch, a regular who attends nearly every Center Street Jam with her husband, said the jams offer a chance to see friends while enjoying a variety of music.

"I like the outdoor atmosphere, and I like the bands," she said. "I think it's a great way to get the community to come out and involved in an outdoor atmosphere."

The Kotches always look forward to Military Appreciation Night, which will be on  June 1, with Jim Quick and Coastline performing. The evening includes special activities and giveaways to celebrate military families. A $1 discount is provided on the first beer purchase to anyone with a military identification.

"My husband is retired from the Air Force, and he gets to see a lot of people he used to work with," she said. "We love it."

The night included a few people who dressed in Star Wars costumes, and two children won prizes for the best costume, taking home a T-shirt and $50 each in downtown dollars to use at area businesses. Two adults dressed up, one as a stormtrooper and another as Darth Revan, offering photo opportunities to people throughout the night.

Center Street Jam, in its 18th year in downtown Goldsboro, continues on May 18 with the Mikele Buck Band. The concert lineup also includes the Soul Psychedelique Orchestra on June 15; Liquid Pleasure on June 29; The Embers on July 13; Digger Foot on July 27; Gary Lowder and Smokin' Hot on Aug. 10; and Hip Pocket on Aug. 24.

There is no cost to attend and visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Pets and coolers are not allowed.

Erin Fonseca, Goldsboro downtown development promotions coordinator, was happy with the number of people at the first event.

"We're thrilled at the turnout at our first Center Street Jam," she said. "We look forward to another great jam season."