Par 3 Party returns with music, dancing

The Augusta Common went from town square to city dance floor Wednesday night with the return of the Par 3 Party, which was canceled in 2012 because of lightning and rain.

Augusta’s South Atlantic Band kicked off the event, playing fan favorites such as Sweet Home Alabama and the Electric Slide, a request of Bobby Rhines, a cameraman for the Public Broadcasting Service visiting from Satellite Beach, Fla.

Rhines’ choice was popular. More than 50 people made their way to the dance floor on the Broad Street side of the Common to join in the four-wall line dance.

The groove continued as the Fantastic Shakers, of Lincolnton, N.C., took the stage later to play shag music as the featured act.

The Par 3 Party, sponsored by the Greater Augusta Arts Council, began in 2010 as the unofficial after-party of the Masters’ Par-3 Contest. In 2011, about 800 people attended the event, which Brenda Durant, the arts council’s executive director, believes was matched, if not exceeded, Wednesday because of “absolutely delightful weather.”

“For those who stay in town, this is their way to get into party mode and participate in the fun and excitement of Masters Week,” she said.

Durant said she has been planning the event since November.

The only criticism patrons had for the event was it did not have enough vendors.

“Vendors should be lined all around the common,” Rhines said. “This has the possibility to be something big.”

The event benefits the programs and services of the arts council.

More