Cathy Goins, right, dances with Michael Etheridge as Wally Stocks, left, dances with his wife, Nancy Stocks, at the fifth annual Beach Music and BBQ Festival on June 1, 2013, at Edgecombe Community College in Tarboro. The year's festival runs from noon to 6 p.m. June 7.
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Telegram photo / Alan Campbell

Cathy Goins, right, dances with Michael Etheridge as Wally Stocks, left, dances with his wife, Nancy Stocks, at the fifth annual Beach Music and BBQ Festival on June 1, 2013, at Edgecombe Community College in Tarboro. The year's festival runs from noon to 6 p.m. June 7.

Beach music fest continues at college

By Tyler Kes
Staff Writer

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For the sixth year in a row, Edgecombe Community College’s Tarboro campus will be transformed from a place of learning to a place of fun, sun and great music.

The annual Beach Music Festival and Food Truck Rodeo will run from noon to 6 p.m. June 7 and will feature different food trucks and music from three different beach bands, said Karen Andrus, ECC Foundation executive director.

“It is a fundraiser for scholarships, that is our focus on this,” she said. “We have two main fundraisers in the year. One is the Beach Music Festival and the other is a golf tournament in the fall.”

Raising money for scholarships is important, Andrus said, because of many students’ great financial needs.

“It is really pitiful to see those that have real aspirations and drive and really want to do better and get good jobs and support their families and be good citizens and get a good education,” she said. “That is one thing foundations do, at every community college, is raise money for scholarships. That is really our main focus.”

The foundation hopes to raise around $10,000, which is typical for the event, Andrus said.

The three bands performing are The Holiday Band and Carolina Breakers, both of whom previously have played at the festival, and Steve Owens and Summertime, Andrus said.

“I have never seen them, but they have gotten rave, rave reviews, so we are pretty excited about that,” she said, referring to Owens and his band.

Summertime has been together for three years, Owens said, and while the band mainly plays beach music, it is not the only genre it plays.

“We play Bruno Mars, Taio Cruz, The Steve Miller Band,” he said. “I mean, we play ‘Wagon Wheel.’”

To Owens, the best part of being in a band is meeting all the people.

“You meet a lot of people, and it is pretty cool when they start following you and you see them at other events and stuff,” he said.

The reason the school chose to do a beach music festival is because it was looking for a niche market that would appeal to people in the area, Andrus said.

“That is a big craze around here,” she said. “We decided to give it a try, and like I said, this is our sixth year doing it and we seem to have a following. These beach music people, they follow the festivals everywhere. We just found it to be very popular and fun.”

One of the more popular features of the festival is the shag competition, which features people of all ages.

“People love that,” Andrus said. “They come from all over to enter into that shag dance contest. We give out little trophies and everything.”

The contest will be judged by professional shag judges, Andrus said.

While food always has been a part of the festival, this is the first time it will feature food trucks.

“Normally in the past we called it ‘and Barbecue Festival,’ but this year we decided everyone is into food trucks and it’s the big craze, so we wanted to kind of get in on that,” she said.

“We kind of cover a lot of different opportunities for people to find something they like, and they usually do,” she said.

Ticket are $15 in advance, $20 at the gate and $5 for kids age 6 to 12. Children 5 and younger get in free.

Tickets can be purchased in Rocky Mount at Bailey’s Fine Jewelry; in Tarboro at the Blount-Bridgers House, Tarboro-Edgecombe Chamber of Commerce, Edgecombe County Memorial Library, Southern Bank of Tarboro, Edgecombe Community College, Providence Bank Tarboro Savings Bank; and online at etix.com

For more information, call 823-5166, ext. 212.