'Greetings' finale this Thursday
The organizers of Greetings from Levy Park have been pleasantly surprised with the turnout for the first three installments of the free music series.
CROWLEY - To listen to Crowley businessman Kyle Gordon, who began Greetings from Levy Park with Keeffer Kelbaugh and Amy Thibodeaux, the four-part, free music series was comparable to an experiment.
“We had originally planned for a handful of people showing up — maybe 50 or 100,” he said. “We ended up having hundreds.
“Even for our most recent show when it rained, we sold just as much beer as we did during the previous two. And several people stayed after the band was finished just to socialize and visit with friends.”
When plans were first announced for the series, Gordon, Kelbaugh and Thibodeaux expressed hope that it would become a family event that residents would look forward to. Both of those goals have been achieved.
“I’ve had so many people stop me in the street to ask about our next show,” said Gordon. “Crowley has never had anything like this and to have people showing so much interest makes me feel as though this has been a success.”
“We are so grateful to the people of Crowley for the support they have given us,” added Kelbaugh. “We are really looking forward to this Thursday’s show.”
Thibodeaux, who also serves as the president/CEO of the Crowley Chamber of Commerce, echoed the sentiments.
“We are completely ecstatic with the response we have received during our first season of greetings from Levy Park,” she said. “The positive feedback was just overwhelming. Everyone seemed to enjoy the music and mostly the family-friendly atmosphere. These were our intentions from the onset of planning.”
Even though the shows were promoted as family events, Gordon said he was still surprised at how many children have attended to take part in the activities offered by area businesses such as Teacher’s Pet. The fun jumps and slides have also been popular among the younger guests.
“I really didn’t realize the children would enjoy it so much,” he said.
A new attraction has been added for this Thursday’s event that should add to the enjoyment of the younger attendees.
“Keeffer made arrangements for a petting zoo to be there this week,” said Gordon.
As for the adults in attendance, the popular folk-rock band The Rayo Brothers will provide a strong finale to the series. Their music is a roots-heavy mix of bluegrass, blues and outlaw country. They have played venues and festivals all across the Gulf Coast, attracting a diverse base of enthusiastic fans and have recently released their first full length album.
When asked if the “experiment” would lead to Greetings from Levy Park becoming an annual event, Gordon sounded very optimistic.
“I don’t see why not,” he said. “People enjoy having a place where they can socialize in an outdoor, public setting and enjoy music. We haven’t had any major problems.”
If he is correct and a 2015 version of the event is lined up, Gordon says that people can expect to see some upgrades.
“None of us had any real experience in organizing an event like this,” he said. “We learned a lot. It would only improve.”
Following Thursday’s show, there will be an after-party at Zeus’ Restaurant on North Parkerson Avenue beginning at 8:30 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend after leaving Levy Park.