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The Carthage Press
  • Community approves of lively tunes in Central Park

  • Locals brought their dancing shoes.
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  • Locals brought their dancing shoes.
    The Route 66 Swing Band waltzed across Carthage – making a stop in Central park, this past Saturday.
    The Carthage Council on the Arts coordinated the band’s performance to bring classic country’s favorite songs with a big band and swing twist.
    Karen Riley, Carthage, came out to support the local musicians and to enjoy the cooler temperatures.
    “I know that many think they have to leave town to have fun, that isn’t true, things locally are just as good,” she said.
    She enjoyed the atmosphere of being able to bring your own blanket, and just coming out to have a good time.
    “Having free events for the people is a good thing, to bring the community together – that’s what this does,” said Riley.
    Yes, Route 66 Swing Band is local, and you can see them anytime just a few minutes up the road in Webb City at the Route 66 Event Center, 21 Webb St. The band plays at the center weekly, and every Monday night travels to Miami, Okla., to play.
    Band leader, Doug Cole, says the expertise of his band rivals that of Branson, and he also wants people to know they don’t have to travel all the way to Branson to find great talent.
    “We have over one hundred years of experience on this stage, that is big,” he said.
    That talent was shown throughout the performance as the band crooned George Strait, Ernest Tubb, and Ray Price classics. However, with such great talent a big price comes with admittance. That is not the case with the Route 66 Swing band, Cole says general admission is $5 at the Route 66 Event Center. “We don’t want money to be a problem to come see us, we want people to come enjoy the music without the worry of cost,” Cole said.
    The next and final music event for the three-concert season will be in Central Park,  a Christian band, the Rebecca Hawkins Project, on Aug. 24.

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