Americus Music Festival held at South Jackson Street Depot

Published 8:33 pm Monday, October 23, 2023

The Americus Music Festival took place on October 21rst, drawing a wide variety of musicians and vendors to the historic train depot on S. Jackson Street.
Flinza Davis, first time festival goer, gave his response.
“I’m listening to the music, so I’m fixin to go out here and enjoy myself and listen to the variety of bands they have.”
Davis also said that he is looking forward to trying some of the food at the food trucks.
Base Guitarist Jesse Smith was with a local band called Classic Soul that has been going for five years.
“We do classic soul music. We’ve got a five-piece band and we do all kinds of engagements like for weddings and parties.”
Laura McConnatha was with The Sumter County Players from the Americus Community Theater, which has been a part of the community since 1965.
“We usually bring four shows to the community a year. We just had our opening show last weekend at the Rylander. We’re going to be doing auditions Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for our Christmas show so we want people to come out for that. They can go to our website at HOME | for more information.”
McConnatha stated they were hoping for more community participation.
“We want more people in the community to know about us and come out and work with us. We’re an all volunteer run organization. We depend on sponsorships and people becoming members of Sumter Players. When you do that, you get a certain amount of tickets to each show. We write grants for our funding so that we can get costumes and venue rentals. We want to represent our community across the board age wise, ethnically and everything else.”
Darlene Laird, wife of Brad Laird, one of the players in the band Pluck Tones shared her perspective on the festival.
“I think that this festival is a great way to showcase all the local talent that we have here in Americus and the surrounding area.”
Chris Wooden described what he thought was coolest about the festival.
“I like all of the stuff they have for the kids this year. Last year, they had a little bit, but nowhere near this much. I think it’s great that they have all the blow-up castles and the challenge and all the stuff they have for the kids. I think that’s awesome.”
Jennifer Pierson gave her reaction to the festival.
“There’s a little something for everybody here. There’s stuff for kids. There’s stuff for music lovers obviously. It’s a music festival. I’ve seen booths with people sharing information from everything from the Humane Society. The National Parks Service has a booth over here, so it’s a really good opportunity for families and anybody in the community to get out and learn.”
She talked about the coolest thing she had seen at the festival.
“We only got here at the tail end of the Pluck Tones, so I think the coolest thing we’ve seen so far is the music from the Pluck Tones and the Circle of Peace Drummers. I also love the obstacle course for kids. I have two small kids and they love the obstacle course.”
Robertiena Fletcher, Treasurer of the Americus-Sumter County Movement Remembered was also at the festival. She described its aims.
“One of our main goals is to preserve the colored hospital, which is in Americus, GA. and establish it as a cultural center in Americus, which will be a museum combination community center combination health center. We’re trying to get the Phoebe Sumter Medical Center involved in the process. We acquired some federal grants right now, $2.5 million, to help restore the hospital, which is not enough. We are out here promoting this in the community so they will support us and help keep giving us funds in order to get the project done.”
Jackie Merriman with Habitat for Humanity also shared his experiences.
“I’m 86 years old. I came down here 30 years ago from Delaware to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. This is close to where I live, so I just walked over. I like this sort of beat that’s going on. It sort of goes back to my college days in 1955. It’s just kind of nice to get out on a day like today and support the community.”

By Joshua Windus and Ken Gustafson.