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Beach Music Festival Supports Scholarships

For the past six years, the Edgecombe Community College Foundation has hosted a beach music festival to raise funds for student scholarships.

Though the event has changed slightly this year with the addition of a food truck rodeo, organizers say the focus remains the same.

“It’s all about people coming out and enjoying good entertainment, good food, and good atmosphere for a good purpose,” says Curtis Edmondson, an ECC Foundation board member.

This year’s Beach Music Festival and Food Truck Rodeo is set for Saturday, June 7, from 12 noon to 6 p.m. on Edgecombe Community College’s Tarboro campus. Gates open at 11 a.m.

In addition to a shag contest starting at 3:30 p.m., the long-awaited raffle drawing for the guitar signed by Taylor Swift when she performed at the college in 2008 will be held at 5 p.m. The winner also receives a CD and photos with Swift’s autograph.

Luke Vail of 107.9 Sunday on the Beach radio show is back as the festival’s emcee this year. The lineup of bands includes Steve Owens and Summertime, the Holiday Band, and the Carolina Breakers.

“We’ve got three really good, dynamic beach music bands,” Vail says. “It’s not a matter of who goes first or who goes last – we’ve got three headline bands.”

It’s not just the entertainment that makes the ECC Foundation festival a one-of-kind event. The venue, food, and cause also make a difference, Vail says.

“Out of all the festivals I’ve been to – and I’ve been to a lot – this one is pretty special because it’s held on such a beautiful campus,” Vail explains. “It really adds quite a bit.”

“Also, this event has high-quality food vendors, and all the proceeds are going to education. That’s what makes our festival special.”

New this year is the Food Truck Rodeo. Regional and international cuisines will be represented, in addition to a few specialties, including gluten-free and sugar-free foods, ice cream, fresh squeezed juices, and fried pickles.

The Beach Music Festival is one of two major fundraisers sponsored annually by the ECC Foundation, according to Karen Andrus, executive director. She says the previous five festivals have raised a total of more than $40,000.

“Our focus is on scholarships,” Andrus says. “This year, we will award 100 scholarships to deserving Edgecombe Community College students.”

Tickets for the festival cost $15 in advance or $20 at the gate. They can be purchased online at www.etix.com; in Rocky Mount at Bailey’s Fine Jewelry; or in Tarboro at the Blount-Bridgers House, Tarboro-Edgecombe Chamber of Commerce, Edgecombe County Memorial Library, Southern Bank, Providence Bank, Tarboro Savings Bank, and Edgecombe Community College.

Sponsors for this year’s festival include Keihin Carolina Systems Technology; PNC Bank; Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant; Boddie-Noell Foundation; ABB, Inc.; Barnhill Contracting; Wells Fargo; and Twin County Motorsports.

For more information on the Beach Music Festival and Food Truck Rodeo, contact Karen Andrus at (252) 823-5166, ext. 212, or andrusk@edgecombe.edu.