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Fair Around Square to celebrate 200 years

Pike will celebrate 200 years of history and local legacies with the Fair Around the Square on Saturday, Aug. 20 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with live music, festival foods and family fun such as inflatables and shopping opportunities. Live music will include the Appalachian Travelers at 10:30 a.m., the Pike County Arts Council Junior Players at 12:50 p.m., Elijah Paschal and mod20 at 1:30 p.m., the Carroll Cummings Duo at 2:40 p.m., a special Vic Chesnutt Tribute performed by Kirk Lancaster at 3:50 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. and Eli J. Ingram and Jack and Gin at 5 p.m. 

“We hope citizens will enjoy themselves and draw closer together as a county as we remember what makes Pike special and what has made it special for the last 200 years,” said Stephen Brentlinger. “Hopefully, everyone will enjoy the vendors and entertainment and take a few moments to observe the historical presentations at the fair.”

The Pike County Arts Council is helping sponsor the event along with the Pike County Bicentennial Committee. 

“PCAC is sponsoring the music for this full day event and a delightful array of food trucks, arts and crafts booths and edutainment booths are sure to abound around the square as well,” said Marcia Callaway-Ingram. 

Opening Ceremonies will start at 10 a.m. as commissioners, school bands and American Legion Post 197 come together to present Zebulon Pike’s biography and the unveiling of a special shadow box in his honor. 

Post 197 will provide inflatables for kids as well as the POW/MIA Full Tribute set for 11:30 a.m. and the flag and wreath ceremony at 12:30 p.m. which will include the playing of Taps by Will Busby. 

To be a vendor, email or call 678-588-4132 for an application by Aug. 10 at 5 p.m.

“We have several vendors currently signed up, including food vendors like Kelly’s Konfections and Cool B’s BBQ, as well as craft vendors like Sassy Gals Creations. In addition, there will be non-profit booths for the American Legion, the Optimist Club, and others,” said Brentlinger. 

More about the Musicians: 

Think Floyd Sound Production: Beginning with stage sound management, Matthew Floyd is a native of Pike who owns and operates Think Floyd Sound Production out of Macon, Georgia. Matt and his company will, literally and figuratively, “set the stage” for the bicentennial celebration with clear, vibrant sound.  

10:30 a.m. – Appalachian Travelers: Living legend and musician Bennie Rose is a double Pike County native. He started out in Pike County, Kentucky, and relocated to Pike County, Georgia, as soon as he could. Bennie enjoys a successful career in music no matter where he goes. His name appears on The Country Music Highway sign in Kentucky, and he was inducted into the Atlanta Georgia Country Music Hall of Fame in 2014, and performs in the Netflix series Sweet Magnolias. Bennie and his groups, Due South and/or Appalachian Travelers, have contributed to our music community in many ways over the years. Members of the band now include Bennie Rose on lead vocals and guitar, MaryAnn Moss with backup vocals and mandolin, Nick Tolbert on banjo and Dan Kilgore with backup vocals and bass.

12:50 p.m. – Pike County Arts Council Junior Players: The PCAC Junior Players are about to begin their 14th year as the Pike County Art Council’s performing arts group. Over the years, the Junior Players have established themselves as a top group that imparts skills and knowledge for beginners and seasoned performers. The excellence of the program is a direct result of the outstanding young people who audition for the group each year. Some of The Junior Players’ alumni are now employed as signed music label artists, Disney cast members, health care professionals, educators, pilots and have careers in business, ministry, military and as artists attending SCAD. Their show includes choreography and showmanship in an upbeat 30-minute performance. Junior Players perform at local festivals throughout the school year. In the past the PCAC Jr Players have auditioned and preformed as part of the Disney Youth Performing Arts Program in Disney Springs. Last year they partnered with the Upson Art Council Glee group and performed for the Lighting of Christmas Lane. Their goal is to encourage young performers to grow into their talent! 

1:30 p.m. – Elijah Paschal and Mod20: Elijah Paschal and Mod20 attended and graduated from Pike County High School in 2021 and 2022. Elijah has been playing guitar and creating music since he was in sixth grade, while Mod20 started in their junior year of their high school careers. Mod20’s members include Hayden Pugh on guitar, Will Pitts on piano, Jackson Bush on percussion, and Elijah Paschal on bass guitar. Mod20 all participated in the Pike County theater department, and they all performed in school musicals. They have put on several concerts to raise money for the theater department. Elijah Paschal has been playing shows since his freshman year of high school and is excited to announce his new single “Under the Moon” is out on all streaming platforms.  

2:40 p.m. – Carroll Cummings Duo. The Carroll Cummings Duo is a modern classical music duo consisting of cellist Kate Carroll and guitarist Ryan Cummings. Over the course of many years, Kate and Ryan have developed a sound and presentation that has been described as both unique and beautiful. Their sound is a seamless blend of traditional classical repertoire and modern pop hits that is sure to please concertgoers of all tastes. Both Ryan and Kate are Pike County natives. Ryan is also the manager of The 1828 Coffee Company and owner and guitar teacher at the Griffin Music Academy. (Fun Fact: As a young adult Ryan played in a heavy metal band that opened for Mötley Crüe.)

3:50 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Vic Chesnutt Tribute. History has a place for Pike County’s Vic Chesnutt and his music has preserved his name and work well beyond his days on earth. Vic was a student at Pike County schools, graduating in 1982. Vic moved to Athens after graduation to attend UGA and became very involved in the music industry. Vic released 17 albums during his career, including two produced by Michael Stipe (lead vocalist for R.E.M.) Vic was a prolific singer-songwriter. The Vic Chesnutt Tribute will be presented by Panama City musician Kirk Lancaster, who covers Vic’s music in Part I of the tribute on stage at 3:50 p.m. and will also moderate a memorial journey of Vic’s music career, life and times, hosting an open mic to Vic’s friends, family, and avid fans who wish to contribute in words or music in Part II of the tribute in The 1828 Coffee Company at 7:15 p.m.

5 p.m. – Eli J. Ingram and Jack and Gin. Eli J. Ingram was born in Pike and graduated from PCHS in 2012. Eli has been writing music and performing since childhood, and his music reflects the pain and wonder of the human experience with a refreshing twist of hope and perseverance. Eli is a 2016 UGA graduate who, along with fellow UGA senior Wil Savage, worked on creating a Pike Bicentennial Business Plan as their senior project, and thus the ideas for this Country Fair around the Courthouse Square were born. After releasing his first solo album, Eli Effect, in 2020, Eli met musician Sandi Marlisa of Panama City, and they formed a duo, Jack and Gin. Although these two talented singer/songwriters/performers met less than a year ago, Jack and Gin have already written and released one album together, self-titled Jack and Gin, as well as several singles. Eli has since released a second album, Blackout, as well as recording and producing Sandi’s recent solo album, Haven. Eli and Sandi also continue to write, produce and perform individually, as a duo, and for full band projects.

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