Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Magical Walk Around the Square

J.S. Acker died in 1955, with no heirs. A real estate operator, he left a portfolio of properties in a trust to the City of Prescott, with the provision that they be used for parks and to enhance local children's performing arts talents. The Meals on Wheels operation on Aubrey Street is located on Acker land and there is a big, 80-acre hilly park out the Senator Road at the edge of town, the J.S. Acker Park. As I recall, both the park and the Acker Musical Showcase were not established until the 1980s -- note that long gap in time from the benefactor's death! My cynical self says that there were developers lusting after such choice properties. However, the trustees managed to hang in there -- and so today we can enjoy these very grand inheritances!

At 5 p.m. yesterday, it was time to head downtown to join the crowds at the 18th Annual Acker Musical Showcase, one of the major holiday events in Christmas City, as well as a fundraiser for scholarships. I had never spent a full evening at the Acker so this was all very new to me.

Businesses stay open and provide a venue for an amazing variety of local talent to perform from 5:30 til 8 p.m.

Not surprising that there were a lot of western-style entertainers and guitar players.

However, the night was by no means limited to the cowboy theme. I was taken aback by the number of wind players...

...such as this man with his mellow Indian flute...

...a classful of flute students at one of the banks...

...medieval ladies forming a recorder consort...

...and a couple who blended the flute with a clarinet.

There were buskers on the street, as well -- the mural mice promoting the all-city mural over on Granite street

Plus a handful of kids who had decided on the spur of the moment that they wanted a piece of the action. Note: it was apparent that they really hadn't rehearsed even a little bit!

Musical scenes were visible through the shop windows...

...but after all that walking, it was dark, getting cold and my feet needed a rest. So I stopped at the bank serving hot cocoa. Whew! But there was a lot more to see and hear!

My good friend, the folk music lady singing carols accompanied by her autoharp...

...a quartet of keyboard artists who set their instruments to ring like Christmas chimes...

...a lively flock of banjo pickers...

...East Indian textiles and saris to lust over...

...while I listened to an Indian jam session...

...and my grand finale -- the sexy belly dancing troupe around the corner from West Gurley. At which point, I gave out and headed home ... missing the flamenco dancers, a lot of jazz and the chamber choir, among others. But I did have the Salvation Army brass band still ringing in my head!

5 comments:

hermano said...

Next time I visit I'll have to time it for the Ak festival. HERMANO

Granny J said...

Bro -- I think you'd really love it! And not just for those belly dancers...

catalyst said...

With the crowds, it's also a godsend for pickpockets!!

Granny J said...

Didn't realize that we have a problem hereabouts. Tho with all those valley folk coming up here, I shouldn't be surprised. Hope you didn't get pick-pocketed, Mr. Catalyst!

Lane said...

WOW! I am astounded at the multitude of wonderfulness! Just an an Elvis impersonator and it would be complete!

 
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