Friday, August 9, 2013

Downtown New Castle hits entertainment jackpot

By Gwen Johnson

NEW CASTLE – If you didn’t take time to come downtown to New Castle, this weekend you missed it all. Friday evening the well-known Southern gospel group, The Anchormen, performed at the Locust Mountain Grill.  You couldn’t have heard better had you paid $100 for a ticket in some big coliseum or concert hall.

The group was making a loop through Eagle Rock, Pulaski, Buchannan, and West Virginia, not necessarily in that order. When they were asked by someone if the members could stop at the grill in New Castle on their way through, they graciously agreed.

Lizzy Dowdy, who is 8, tries on a Harley-Davidson for size on Aug. 3, when Harley-Davidson bikers and members of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association from Roanoke join the Shriners' Kazim Klowns for a Poker Run. They stopped at the Masonic Lodge on Main Street in downtown New Castle. Photo by Gwen Johnson

Lizzy Dowdy, who is 8, tries on a Harley-Davidson for size on Aug. 3, when Harley-Davidson bikers and members of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association from Roanoke join the Shriners’ Kazim Klowns for a Poker Run. They stopped at the Masonic Lodge on Main Street in downtown New Castle. Photo by Gwen Johnson

The grill was packed and cooks and waitresses kept up a fast pace throughout the evening. At the end of the evening a love offering was taken up for The Anchormen who basically asked for only enough to cover their gas and perhaps dinner, which the grill always provides to music groups at no cost.  The amount taken in was more than double what they had asked.

The concert was not short on Southern gospel music, witnessing for Christ and there was even an altar call at the end. “That’s what it’s all about, witnessing for God,” said Terry Carter, a member of the Anchormen.  The group all live within fairly close range of each other in Asheboro, N.C., but spend a lot of time playing all over the country and even appear with the famous Gaithers Southern Gospel Group from time to time.

Saturday afternoon, about 60 motorcycles from Harley-Davidson groups around Roanoke and the Gold Wing Riders Association roared into town, stopping at the Masonic Lodge on Main Street.  They were accompanied by several wonderfully dressed Shriners’ Kazim Klowns who were part of the Poker Run to make money to repair some of their equipment used in parades and at other Shriners’ activities.

One Klown told this reporter that they would indeed be back for the Christmas Parade in New Castle this year because they enjoyed it so much last year.  The parade was held for the first time in many years on a cold winter’s night when temperatures dropped and the winds picked up making for chilly conditions.  However, it didn’t seem to bother those fun-loving Kazim Klowns or anyone else in the crowd as they sipped hot apple cider and hot chocolate furnished by local merchants.

The Artisans Center and Farmers’ Market as well as the Emporium Book Store stayed fairly busy Saturday with a bunch of out-of-town folks dropping in as well as locals.  At the Artisan Center, not only could you pick up all kinds of delightful handmade items but the freshly baked items such as pineapple upside down cakes from Butt’s No Buns Bakery would melt in your mouth, and believe me, I speak from experience.  There was also homemade candy and fresh eggs.

Speaking of entertainment and fun – Main Street Days falls on Aug. 17 this month.  All the merchants will offer something special and carriage rides will be provided once again.  If anyone is interested in volunteering to play music for an hour or so at The Emporium Book Store or anywhere else you wish to take up root and play, it would be greatly appreciated.  Contact Phil Spence at the bookstore at 864-8060 or on his cell at 309-6650 or Diane Givens at 864-5004. This event is held the third Saturday of each month to spotlight downtown businesses and attractions.

 

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