MITS season draws to a close tonight

Published 10:54 pm Thursday, October 18, 2012

Music in the Streets wraps up its season tonight with a slate of choice performers taking over downtown Washington one last time.
Staggered down Main and Market streets, bands and solo artists will perform for the crowds from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The seventh and final Music in the Streets features a local favorite, Shakedown, on Market Street in front of Sparrow and Spa La La. In the spotlight and sharing the stage at the intersection of Main and Respess streets are two mainstays of this year’s MITS: solo artists Kara Carlson and Erin Lewis.
Special guests will include the Greenville Public Safety Pipes and Drums corps, along with others, in a parade through the MITS venue. The parade honors Dan Chisholm, a fiddler and bagpiper, and according to fellow musicians, an all-around amazing player. Chisholm died earlier this month after suffering a brain aneurism. He was 38 years old. The parade of pipers takes place at 7 p.m.
MITS organizer and Washington Harbor District Alliance director Beth Byrd said this year’s turnout for Music in the Streets has been outstanding.
“Our musicians put a lot of their time and energy into Music in the Streets,” said Byrd. “We hope that everyone can come down and show their appreciation one more time this year.”
In past years, MITS and Smoke on the Water have run hand in hand, but circumstances demanded the two event run on consecutive weekends, Byrd said.
“There were two reasons: we knew that in order to make the most of our marketing dollars, we needed to stick with the third Friday of every month and because the state barbecue championship was being held here, Smoke on the Water had to move off that third Friday to satisfy event requirements.”
Organizers of both events came up with a compromise: WHDA is donating money to Smoke on the Water; SOTW is renting the main stage and lining up local MITS talent to play at next Friday night’s kickoff events.
Byrd said without downtown merchants, she and LaVon Drake would have had trouble pulling MITS off this season. A shock to a visiting musicians—one hand on his guitar plugged into an old lamp, the other on one of the utility poles downtown—resulted in Washington Utilities cutting the power to the event. Downtown merchants—Purser’s Chest, South Market Antiques, Spa La La, The Sparrow, Inner Banks Artisans’ Center, and Billy Jefferson have stepped up, opened their businesses and plugged the musicians right back in.
“They’re the ones putting music in the streets now — that’s the truth,” Byrd laughed.