Are you looking for something to do this weekend? Something that won’t cost you a cent?

The annual Summer Concert sponsored by Valley View Mennonite Church is returning for the 26th year to the Spartansburg Fairgrounds. That’s this Saturday, July 31, from 1 p.m. to around 4 p.m. and admission is absolutely free.

Organizer of the event, Ron Hennigh, said the church holds fundraisers “because we don’t want people to have to pay for the concert.”

The church donates some of the money to cover the cost but they also hold a fundraiser auction at Hennigh’s in Canadohta Lake. People donate items for the auction. Ron said that last year a pie went for $60 and the auction brought in $1,700 to help pay for the acts.

A free will offering is taken at the concert as well, just in case they come up a little short in covering costs.

Speaking of the acts, the concert features Williamson Branch, Three Bridges and Alex Miller.

If you’re familiar with bluegrass, southern gospel, or you’ve watched American Idol, you might recognize the names.

Williamson Branch is a six-member bluegrass group from Nashville, Tennessee. Their single, “Blue Moon Over Texas” hit the number one spot on the RMR Bluegrass Chart for seven weeks and garnered the band the award for 2020 Valley Star Family Vocal Group of the Year.

Three Bridges is a trio from varied backgrounds and different parts of the country. The trio consists of baritone Elliott McCoy, lead singer Shannon Smith and tenor Jeremie Hudson.

Launched to global audiences during American Idol, Season 19, Alex Miller is a Kentucky-born singer/songwriter who has been performing since the age of seven — and he’s still in his teens.

If you plan to attend, be sure to bring your own camp chairs or picnic blanket to ensure a comfortable place to sit. Three large tent canopies will be set up to provide shelter from sun or rain, but Ron said rain is unlikely during the concert.

“In the last 25 years the weather has held for the concert,” Hennigh said. “It has rained before and after concerts, and maybe sprinkled a bit during the concert, but God has been good in keeping the rain off while the concerts have been going on.”

Ron said last year (yes, they held the concert in 2020) over 350 people attended.

If you come early, you’ll have the option to buy lunch. The church will have a chicken barbecue and ox roast meals for sale from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Spartansburg Volunteer Fire Department is barbecuing the chicken for the event.

“The ladies of the church make sheet cakes and about 40 pies,” Hennigh said.

Speaking as one who has eaten many pies from the Mennonite stand at the fair, I can attest that their pies are far superior to any I’ve had anywhere else.

For more information, contact Ron Hennigh at (814) 882-0351.

What’s up?

— Zumba is Thursday at the Water Street Apartments Gym, 150 Water Street. The class begins at 6 p.m. and there is a fee.

— A Benefit Auction for the Spartansburg special needs school will be held at Milo Miller’s home, 24245 Earnest Road on Friday, July 30 at 5 p.m.

— A free concert, will take place at the Spartansburg Fairgrounds, on Saturday, July 31 at 1 p.m.

Contact me

Do you have something to share? Carol may be reached at SpartansburgSpotlight@outlook.com. People are welcome to submit news, activities, and items of interest pertaining to Spartansburg. Email by noon on Saturdays.

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