WILMINGTON — The grand finale of Murphy Theatre’s weeklong schedule of 100th anniversary events is “Rock the Block,” conceived and sponsored by the Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB).
Four acts will take the Murphy stage on Saturday, July 28 when Main Street will be closed from 4 to 11 p.m. Shutting down the street will allow audience members to go outside and sit for a while, as well as visit the food trucks, a beer garden and vendors selling T-shirts of the groups.
The event’s two headliners, who will start on stage about 7:30 or 8 p.m., are Jack Russell’s Great White and FireHouse. The first two acts are tribute shows: Dirty Deeds, one of the most well-known AC/DC tributes around; and Ultimate Ozzy, featuring music from Ozzy Osbourne’s solo career as well as his time with Black Sabbath.
Goat from the television show Full Throttle Saloon will be emcee for the night.
The multi-act program is the brainchild of CVB Executive Director Susan Valentine-Scott who wants it to attract out-of-town visitors as well as locals.
What’s more, it’s a fundraiser for the Murphy Theatre.
Great White and FireHouse are known for their rock ballads, Valentine-Scott said.
“For a lot of people, it will be a nostalgic evening. They [the two bands] did a lot of pretty ballads played at weddings, and some upbeat songs. It will be fun and people are excited,” she said.
Both groups continue to have a following, and people are coming in from out of state to the concert, said Valentine-Scott.
Murphy Theatre Executive Director Maretta Alden said she and the Murphy board are very grateful the event is a fundraiser for the theatre.
She also said, “I love our audience, but we desperately need to start attracting a younger generation also. We need the next group to step up; it’s crucial for the theatre’s survival for another 100 years,” Alden said.
While the event is the capstone of the 100th anniversary week, it also can be viewed as a kick-off for the next season of the venerable Murphy Theatre.
Alden is hoping the theatre can turn the corner as far as being financially self-sustaining, and moreover, get some even greater acts to come there.
Doors open at 4 on July 28, with music starting about 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 to $80 depending on seat location. Order tickets at www.themurphytheatre.org .
New look for CVB
Valentine-Scott also wants to inform Clinton Countians the CVB has launched a new logo.
She said the CVB and its board want to educate people more on what it does and what its role is.
Funded by a “bed tax” — a fee attached to local hotel rates — the CVB promotes Clinton County and seeks to get people to come here and see the county’s gems including Cowan Lake State Park, the World Equestrian Center, Roberts Convention Centre, Murphy Theatre, the county fair, a number of festivals, bike trails and more. In the process, more people stay in local hotels and dine in local restaurants.
Located at the corner of Main and South Streets in downtown Wilmington, Valentine-Scott said she invites people to come in, see the literature at the CVB and just visit.
If residents know there will be out-of-town guests coming, the CVB can give them a welcome packet which tells about the things going on in the community.
“We’d like to see more foot traffic in here,” said Valentine-Scott.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.