Open mic nights are generally held off in the corner of a bar with dim lighting, chattering voices and clinking glasses.But Craigmont’s open mic venue allows listeners to run their toes through the grass, bask in the setting sun and snack on grilled food for the annual Jam’n in the Park.
For the 11th year in a row, Jam’n in Craigmont City Park will raise money for the Craigmont Volunteer Fire Department by selling concessions and holding a 50/50 drawing, while local musicians perform to a crowd seated in lawn chairs and on blankets.
Interested performers sign up at the site and play in a rotation determined by a master of ceremonies. Each musician will have the chance to play a handful of songs and, depending on how many of them show up, may be able to play more by the end of the night.
Three jam sessions will be held in July, starting Thursday and followed by July 18 and 25. Thursday, the Craigmont Volunteer Fire Department will sell sausage dogs, beans, chips, soda and water, while the Craigmont Lady Bakers will be selling homemade pie slices, crisps and other baked goods.
The 50/50 raffle, a drawing that pools money into a fund and allows the winner to take half the pot, gives the fire department a chance to raise money each night in July.
According to Kayleen Canup, Craigmont city clerk assistant and Jam’n in the Park organizer, the 50/50 drawing raised $269 last year, but because of generous audience members, the amount was doubled to $538 ― winners had decided to donate their winnings back to the fire department.
Canup said the fire department recently received a block grant for a new fire station, and all Jam’n in the Park earnings will go toward breaking ground and starting construction.
Other than raising money, Canup said Jam’n in the Park is a way to stimulate musical creativity in the community.
“Just to give the surrounding area something to do in the summertime to enjoy,” she said.
Treffry can be contacted at (208) 883-4640 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at: @LindseyTreffry.
-> if you go:
WHAT: Jam’n in the Park
WHEN: 6 p.m. Thursday; 6 p.m. July 18 and 25
WHERE: Craigmont City Park, off East Main and Railroad streets