South Shore Music Festival packs a punch

By LISA STARK

Lisa Stark photos

Lisa Stark photos

The South Shore Music Festival commenced last weekend at the International Showmen’s Club in Gibsonton with concert headliner Chase Bryant taking the stage and wowing the audience with his special blend of country rock and ballads that have made him a national recording star at age 22.  Other musical performers included John King, Clemons Road, Michael Miller Band, Aubrey Wollett, John Rhey and Skylar Clark.

With a huge variety of local vendors lining the grounds of the Showmen’s Club, the Music Festival proved to be a fun time for all ages, showcasing not only the musical talent of Florida, but also the area’s unique and diverse heritage. The South Shore Music Festival is becoming known for its distinctive blend of soulful rock, country music and blues, its Southern comfort foods,  and its family-friendly atmosphere, which this year featured a cornhole tournament sponsored by Tampa Bay Corn Hole and a Chili Cook-Off.

Some of the sponsors for this year’s Music Festival included Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, Tampa Bay Brewing Company, Winn-Dixie, True Blonde Ale and a host of other local small businesses.

The stage at the South Shore Music Festival hosted several local musical talents, as well as national recording star Chase Bryant. At age 22, Chase Bryant is a dynamic performer with crowd-pleasing appeal.

The stage at the South Shore Music Festival hosted several local musical talents, as well as national recording star Chase Bryant. At age 22, Chase Bryant is a dynamic performer with crowd-pleasing appeal.

The annual South Shore Music Festival was created not only out of a passion for music but as a way to give back to the community through charitable contributions. This year’s festival benefited My Warrior’s Place in Ruskin, among others.

“I am excited that we are hosting this Ride for the Fallen,” said Kelly Kowall, founder and president of My Warrior’s Place.  The Ride for the Fallen Poker Run, which began in Ruskin earlier in the day and ended at the South Shore Music Festival, was designed to help fund the Project Corregidor – Grief & Peer Mentoring Programs that My Warrior’s Place conducts for veterans, military service members and first responders who have endured the death of a fallen brother. This year The Ride for the Fallen was held in memory of Kelly’s son, SPC. Corey J. Kowall, along with all of the Fallen Heroes.

In addition to enjoying all the activities and musical acts featured at the Music Festival, the Ride for the Fallen participants also took part in a Grenade Toss, Raffle, and Poker Hand, with prizes awarded to the lucky winners.

The Ride for the Fallen honored Fallen Heroes from the local community.

The Ride for the Fallen honored Fallen Heroes from the local community.

A variety of vendor booths offered gastronomical delights to hungry festival patrons.

A variety of vendor booths offered gastronomical delights to hungry festival patrons.

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My Warrior’s Place seeks to make a positive difference in the lives of veterans and their families by providing a refuge of healing, compassion and understanding.  Their programs, coupled with the My Warrior’s Place Retreat Center, invite an atmosphere of camaraderie where healing from the traumas of war can take place.

My Warrior’s Place is at 101 22nd St. N.W. in Ruskin. For more information, look for them on Facebook or call Kelly Kowall at 813-321-0880.

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