From the Mayor 07/20/16

Reprinted with Permission of the Independence Daily Reporter

One of the many benefits of living in Indy is having the best movie theater in the world. Annie and I went to the movies three times over the weekend. We saw “The Legend of Tarzan” on Friday night, “Ghostbusters” on Saturday night, and “The Legend of Tarzan” on Sunday night. That’s not a typo. For some mysterious reason, Annie was dying to see Tarzan a second time. I’m sure her excitement to see it a second time had nothing to do with Tarzan spending the entire movie without a shirt, showing off his ridiculously perfect abs. (I maintain that his abs were obviously computer generated, but Annie stubbornly refuses to concede the point).

Go see these movies. They are great fun.

But we have another, much more exciting entertainment opportunity heading our way: a fantastic chance to enjoy a musical group with five number one hits, two gold albums, a Grammy, and 26 singles that hit the Billboard Magazine Hot Country charts.

Shenandoah is coming to town.

Shenandoah was formed in 1984. They have released nine studio albums, and two of those were certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. The band has had 26 singles hit the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including the Number One hits “The Church on Cumberland Road,” Sunday in the South,” “Two Dozen Roses,” “Next to You, Next to Me,” and “If Bubba Can Dance (I Can Too).

“The Church on Cumberland Road” marked the first time in country music history that a band's first number-one single spent multiple weeks at the top of the charts.

Their single “Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart,” which featured guest vocalist Alison Krauss, won a Grammy Award for both artists for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group.

The band’s latest events include performing at the Grand Old Opry in May. And last month, they performed at the Country Music Awards. This is a big time band.

I’ve mentioned in this column previously that tourism is the third largest industry in Kansas, having had an economic impact of $9.8 billion in our state last year. To optimize our local economy, we need visitors in Independence. Remember that nearly every visitor to Independence spends money which helps grow our city, and if they spend the night here, that effect is much greater. And what better way to get visitors to spend the night than to get them to a concert?

Memorial Hall Auditorium is the largest venue for concerts in southeast Kansas. As you know, we spent a lot of money for a major renovation several years ago, and the building is in great shape for concerts such as this. And the more people that attend this event, the better the likelihood that we’ll attract similar and even bigger events in the future.

Here’s what I’m asking you to do. (1) Purchase your ticket today and make plans to attend; tickets are available at the city website, the Chamber website, or in person at the Chamber office. (2) Invite all your friends to join you. (3) Promote the event on your Facebook page, and (4) send personal invitations to friends in nearby cities.

On Friday, August 19, let’s fill up Memorial Hall, enjoy some world-class music, and show other bands that no one knows how to host a concert like Independence.

Mayor Gary Hogsett