Originally created 05/19/00

Mayfest will rock the park



The Mayfest celebration Saturday is a party in the park.

Presented by the Augusta-Richmond County Recreation and Parks Department and Davis Broadcasting, the event features hip-hop and soul acts Marc Nelson, F.A.T.E., Trina, Sam Salter, Rah Digga and Miracle, among others.

The acts represent a variety of styles and musical approaches. Be it Marc Nelson's rhythmic take on sophisticated soul, F.A.T.E.'s funky three-part harmonies, the confident Southern-flavored rap of Augusta native Miracle or Miami's Trina, the tight hip-hop style of Busta Rhymes' protege Rah Digga or the Stevie Wonder/Marvin Gaye-influenced vocals of Sam Salter, each artist appears as an envoy for a particular style.

Matilda Bennett, special events and marketing director for the Recreation and Parks Department, said the event is also a showcase for the city's parks.

"I'd like people to realize the fun they can have in a public park without spending a lot of money," she said. "We have a lot of amazing parks in Augusta, and May Park is just one of them. And I hope this draws attention to that."

Although the attraction of free, live music will lure many to the park, Ms. Bennett said that organizers have also included events for those who may be a bit concert-wary. In addition to attracting more people, she said, that also helps alleviate crowding around the stage.

"That's probably the greatest challenge, making sure that everyone has a safe time in the park," she said. "We try to keep people mobile so people are not concentrated in one area."

Among the nonmusical events are a three-on-three basketball contest and a car show featuring automobiles from the 1960s and '70s.

"Normally we try to look for family activities," Ms. Bennett explained. "We try to attract a new group each year. That's the highlight for me - seeing the families enjoying the park."

Festival

What: Mayfest

When: Gates open at noon Saturday

Where: May Park, 622 Fourth St.

Admission: Free

Phone: 796-5025

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or suhles@hotmail.com.