By ANGIE CARNATHAN
When Cindy Melby was asked to help with the entertainment portion for the Starkville Parks and Recreation’s Rockin’ the Park event on Saturday, Sept. 17, she said she knew she wanted an evening of entertainment that would be fun for the whole family.
“I’ve had the opportunity to view other communities much smaller than ours as they host large concert events that are very successful,” Melby said. “I could imagine that Starkville would really enjoy something similar.”
Starkville Parks and Recreation Director Matthew Rye said keeping the music fun for all ages was important in planning the event.
“Keeping in mind the audience we wanted to reach and the audience we’re hoping to have, we felt it was a top priority to make sure the music was family-friendly,” Rye said. “We wanted to make sure this would be something people could bring their kids to and enjoy as a family.”
The entertainment begins at 6 p.m. and continue throughout the evening. Melby said they chose two up-and-coming acts out of Nashville as the first two entertainment groups of the night –– Brinley Addington and Scarletta.
Addington is from Kingsport, Tenn., and currently lives in Nashville. Addington said he plays a more traditional country sound.
“I’m very excited to play in Starkville,” Addington said. “I hear it’s a beautiful town and I love playing for new audiences. I grew up in a small town in northeast Tennessee, and there were always great festivals like Rockin’ the Park going on in the area. I was fortunate enough to play and even headline some of those, so it’s always great to play events like this because it reminds me of home and how I got started.
Addington co-wrote a song titled “Blame It On Mississippi” with Caroline Melby of the band Nash Street. Addington said they might perform the song together that night.
“Caroline is one of my favorite people to write and play music with,” he said. “She’s an outstanding musician and songwriter, and I really respect the way she views music. She and I have a very similar outlook on things, and I think that’s why working with her is so enjoyable.”
The next group to perform will be Scarletta. Scarletta’s lead singer, Aubrey Collins, was once the lead singer of Trick Pony, and the band’s guitarist is Benji Harris.
Nathan Stoops, the fiddle player for Scarletta, said the group really enjoys playing outdoor festivals.
“We’ve done a few things like Rockin’ the Park this summer and we absolutely love it,” Stoops said. “It’s the best possible way to get introduced to a town.”
The last band to perform is called C+Plus. Melby said she believes this band will have everyone on their feet dancing to close out the evening
“C+Plus is a 12-piece band from Alabama known for their ability to perform great dance music and the covers we all like to hear,” Melby said. “They are extremely entertaining and we want this to be a fun, high energy event.”
Bruce Perry, a member of C+Plus, said the band has gained popularity from it’s large horn section and by playing well-known hits from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s.
“We play everything from Elvis to Otis Redding to Van Morrison,” Perry said. “We play the kind of music people can dance and sing along to. We’re looking forward to having a fun night with the people of Starkville.”
The entry fee for Rockin’ the Park is $5 and children under 6 will be admitted free of charge.
Melby said she hopes people will spread the word to their families and friends to come out and make some fun memories, and Rye said he hopes the event will be something people look forward to for years to come.
For more information on Rockin’ the Park, visit http://www.facebook.com/starkvilleparks  and select the “Like” button or go to http://www.starkvilleparks.com/rockin-the-park/ .