Music and Fun Enrich Rector Center
Gary Prince and Sugar Creek brought their classic and contemporary country sound to the Rector Community Center stage Friday night to the delight of a crowd of around 200 people. The talented local group, from Paragould, provided a fun, laid-back atmosphere which those in attendance enjoyed with smiles.
The group performed country hits from different eras, but their crisp sound and fan-friendly banter made each note a comfortable tune, allowing the audience to feel a sense of familiarity with the group, even those who had never heard the band play before.
"I look out here and I see a lot of familiar faces," front man Gary Prince told the crowd in between songs. Prince noted the presence of former classmates and old friends while welcoming new listeners.
The group even gave the audience a chance to have their input heard.
"We've got a list of songs here that we're going to play, but if there's something you want to hear, call it out," Prince told the audience. "If we know it, we'll play it."
The approach was a success, as listeners ranging from toddler to senior citizens could be seen tapping their toes to the country favorites.
"It was a real good show," community center director Linda Robinson said. "They're a very talented group. We had people from Jonesboro, Paragould, Walnut Ridge and Kennett come to Rector for this show. I think everyone had a good time."
The concert was the first event to make use of some of the new lighting in place at the Rector Community Center. Upgrades have been purchased for the site through a matching grant, with events like this concert raising funds for continued improvements and maintenance. Friday's show made use of the new low-level lighting along the sides of the center's auditorium, allowing the crowd to find their way to and from their seats with ease, but while maintaining a concert-style atmosphere.
"I thought our new lights really added to the concert," Robinson said. "Our overhead lights are on backorder, but when they're installed, we'll have more options as far as dimming the lights go."
Efforts to update the community center are breathing new life into the 25-year-old structure. While the concert series has entertained many, events such as this continue to raise funds for the earmarked improvements. Future plans for the site include replacing two large air conditioning units which will operate alongside the unit installed last year.
The Rector Community Center is set to welcome back the immensely popular Ultimate Oldies Show beginning at 7 p.m. Aug. 30.
"We're happy to have them back in Rector," Robinson said. "They sell out everywhere they go, and with good reason."
Robinson expects the show to sell out quickly.
"We're already getting calls to reserve tickets," Robinson said. "We encourage people to call early to reserve their tickets. The Ultimate Oldies Show has fans from all over the country who come to their shows. We don't want anyone to miss out on the chance to see a show like this in Rector."
Those wanting to secure advance tickets may do so by calling (870) 595-3035.