Monday, June 27, 2011

UMall's Sweet Carolina Summer Concert Series

Marney went and checked out this event for us, and her review follows. Stay tuned, too, since we'll have VIP tickets coming your way for grabs soon! Here's Marney:

I love getting out in the summer evenings to enjoy live music and have fun with the kids. Luckily the University Mall in Chapel Hill has decided to put on a Sweet Carolina Summer Concert Series in June and July from 6-9pm on Thursday nights. Each week a different beach themed band plays and mall vendors supply food + drink (alcoholic and nonalcoholic). The event takes place in the parking lot outside Dillard's Department Store.

Overall my kids (ages 2 and 5), my husband and I had a good time. The main focus was very much the music and well deserved since the band playing ,"The Fantastic Shakers" (www.fantasticshakers.com) was a real crowd pleaser. They definitely had a beach boys vibe and got the crowd up and dancing by song number two. Even the Chick-fil-A cows got on the dance floor, poor things must have been melting in those costumes! Most people set up lawn chairs or a blanket in front of the stage. There were a few hundred people in attendance but the staff said in weeks past when there was no chance of thunderstorms, there were approximately 400-500 people!

The food and drink vendors were a bit late setting up but there were some good options. Chick-fil-A offered a boxed meal (chicken sandwich, chips and a drink for $5) and A Southern Season had cheese, crackers and fruit plus beer/wine and cookies. Chick-fil-A also had a fun "prize wheel" where you could win a free drink, dessert or other goodies. If your kids are like mine and eat on the early side, I'd recommend eating before the event inside the mall or at a nearby restaurant like The Loop or bring your own picnic.

Unfortunately the "children's corner" was nothing more than a few tumbling mats surrounded by a plastic enclosure that kept falling over with the increasing winds. My two year old enjoyed running around but my older child was more interested in the music and watching the cows. Their intention was to have this area be a "safe place" for the kids to run around but perhaps the music will hold their attention well enough.

There was plenty of event staff in yellow t-shirts to help answer questions, point you in the right direction and monitor the children's area. There was also lots of security and parking was fairly easy.

Check out the website for a full list of food vendors, restaurants and a performance schedule.

University Mall Sweet Carolina Summer Concert Series
http://universitymallnc.com/
http://universitymallnc.com/calendar/event/186-sweet-carolina-summer-concert-series
201 South Estes Drive Chapel Hill

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