Ferriday prepares for musical eventsPublished 12:01am Friday, May 25, 2012
FERRIDAY — Some people refer to Ferriday as the little town where music is born, and two musical events on Saturday aim to prove that those musical roots are still alive and kickin’.
The third-annual Soul Survivors Festival and Will Haney Music Hall inauguration will bring rockabilly tunes and good times to downtown Ferriday.
The Soul Survivors Festival, which celebrates music’s living history, will feature an authentic blues and roots music lineup showcasing the region’s surviving musical traditions.
“All of this is for the music of Ferriday, and it’s important that people realize and respect what they have in their own backyard,” organizer Tommy Polk said. “One of Ferriday’s mottos is ‘where music is born’ and it’s good for kids to know where it came from.”
Performances by Sylvia Johns Richie & Crew, Nathan Shell, Lil’ Poochie, Jimmy Anderson, Elmo Williams, Hezekiah Early, YZ Ealey Band and Angola Prison Band will help inaugurate the new Jerry Lee Lewis Rockabilly Park and Plaza.
The festival will also feature children’s games, chalk painting, jump rope, jumpers and train rides for children and families.
Food and refreshments are available for purchase.
Admission is free from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Following the rockabilly tunes, Mayor Glen McGlothin will cut the ribbon for the new Will Haney Big House Music Hall.
The building, also referred to as the Ferriday Festival Pavilion, sits on 3.1 acres of land the town owns across from Rockabilly Plaza.
Equipped with seven open spaces for farmers or flea market vendors, a concert stage area and a commercial kitchen, McGlothin said it’s a multipurpose building that he hopes will bring more people to the downtown area.
“Everything is wrapped up and that building belongs to the Town of Ferriday now, so I hope it will see plenty of music in the next few years,” McGlothin said. “I just hope some people come out and help us kick this thing off on the right foot.”
The $785,000 project was funded by an $800,000 state capital outlay grant.
Turning the old run down building on First Street into a central hub for Ferridians has been McGlothin’s dream since 2003.
And now that it’s complete just as he prepares to leave office in June, McGlothin said the building truly is a dream come true.
“It’s great to see something that you’ve worked so hard to accomplish finally be complete,” McGlothin said. “It’s just a great venue.”
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, Easy Eddie and the Party Rockers will inaugurate the stage.
Admission after 7 p.m. is $3.
And as lead vocals for the Party Rockers, McGlothin said he is anxious to be the first musical act on the new stage.
“I’d never thought about that until someone mentioned it to me recently, and honestly, I’ve only played in Ferriday a few times, so I’m really looking forward to it,” McGlothin said. “I’m anxious to see what it’s going to sound like.”
McGlothin said he has invited Gov. Bobby Jindal, as well as other state and federal officials who have contributed to the project, for the grand opening ceremony.