Local business owner plans drive-in concert to entertain families, help nonprofit

Local business owner plans drive-in concert to entertain families, help nonprofit

STATESVILLE, N.C. — Statesville musicians and business owners are teaming up to give families a safe way to enjoy live music.

They’re kicking off a drive-in concert series on May 16.

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Anchor Brittney Johnson learned it could also provide a big boost to families in Iredell County hit hard by the pandemic.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve watched drive-ins emerge as a popular option for safely entertaining crowds during the pandemic. They’ve hosted movie nights and Sunday morning church services, bringing people together but encouraging them to stay in their cars and remain at a safe distance.

Julius Hoke owns the I-40 Flea and Farmers market in Statesville.

After seeing a wildly successful drive-in concert in Denmark, he looked at his 13 acres and decided to organize a show and pull the community together.

“We think its a good responsible way to be safe, to enjoy some live music and have something to do for people people. They’ve been stuck in the house for a while and they are ready to get out,” Hoke said.

Hoke is a DJ. When the state's stay-at-home orders forced the city's venues to close, he helped organize Facebook live concerts with local musicians.

Now, many are them are volunteering for the show.

Hoke says that 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Iredell County Partnership for Young Children.

The nonprofit serves 350 kids in free Pre-K programs and many of the families they work with are struggling.

"We are really wanting to support these families so that they don't have to make the hard choices between putting food on the table or buying diapers for the baby," said Lisa Familo, Executive Director of Iredell County Partnership for Children.

Familo said the money raised will provide COVID-19 relief baskets for families and for childcare workers. She said roughly half of the area’s daycare centers are closed and the many of the ones that are open need cleaning supplies and protective gear to remain safe while caring for the children of essential workers.

“These child health care providers are on the frontlines. They are putting themselves at risk every day to help our community provide the health and safety during this pandemic and so we really owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to them,” Familo said.

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The event is set for May 16 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at I-40 Flea and Farmer’s Market

Organizers are charging $10 per car. There are only 100 tickets available.

Hoke said depending on the success of the event, they’ll plan more. They’re also encouraging families to support local restaurants by getting takeout to enjoy in their cars during the concert.

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