Originally created 01/01/00

Downtown activities help swing in 2000



They were rocking at the Riverfront and swinging at Sacred Heart Cultural Center on Friday, counting down the hours to a new year.

Augustans and residents from neighboring cities packed nearly every crevice of the downtown area, and no matter what you wanted to wear or listen to, there was something for everyone.

At the Jessye Norman Amphitheater, hundreds of adults and their children wore jeans and casual clothes while listening to bands that performed at WJBF's Rockin' New Year's Eve party.

Kenny and Amanda Anderson rocked from side to side with their 3-month-old son Bailey to the beat of Shinebox's rendition of Fight For Your Right (to Party).

"With the baby, we can't get too crazy, but we wanted to bring him out to show him some people," Mr. Anderson said. Bailey grinned as if giving his approval. "This is our first New Year's Eve as a new family."

The Andersons said they would take Bailey in before the stroke of midnight.

"He's the boss now," Mr. Anderson said. "He'll let us know when he's ready to leave."

Thirteen-year-old Carlos Martin also was boss for a few hours.

His parents, Yvonne and Tony Martin, attended the party because their son wanted to.

"I knew there would be something going on down here," Carlos said, excitedly. "There's no one thing that I like more. I'm just enjoying it all."

Had Carlos not wanted to go to the Riverwalk, the Martins said they would have stayed home.

"She would probably be cooking," Tony Martin said of his wife, "And I would probably be sleeping."

While bands -- Memory Dean, Johnny Hensley and Red Hots -- played on the river, the tempo around the corner at Sacred Heart Cultural Center was more mellow.

Wayne Hoey, director of All That Jazz and the big band Sophisticated Swing, threw a party where ballroom dancers could show off their talents.

More than 100 people showed up for the $175-per-person party. Proceeds will go to the Shelter and Advocacy Center for Abused Children.

Josephine Hoey, Wayne's wife, greeted guests at the door.

She said they reserved Sacred Heart a year ago.

"We just wanted to have a festive fun time," Mrs. Hoey said.

REACH

Faith Johnson at (706) 823-3765 orfaithj@augustachronicle.com.