Rhythm on the River concerts dubbed “special” as spring season ends
The shows were held at the Riverwalk Amphitheater at West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater with the rush of the Congaree River in the background. The last one of the spring was Saturday.
The shows are emceed by Marty Hall, of 94.3 The Dude and the next series of concerts will be held in the fall. With the early season over, it was a time to reflect.
The Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce sponsors the concerts.
Richard Skipper, executive director of the Cayce-West Columbia Chamber said Rhythm on the River just seems to get better with time.
“To experience Rhythm on the River as a representative of the chamber has been fulfilling,” said Skipper. “I’m very proud to be associated with the volunteers, the sponsors, the City of West Columbia and all of the people who come to these unique and great concerts. I have loved every minute of the spring series, and I cannot wait to start planning for the fall series. It’s our way to really mingle with the people, and that’s special.”
Philana Williams-Jones is a volunteer for the chamber. Saturday she was tracking zip codes at the concert. Her experience of the shows is first-hand.
“I love coming out to Rhythm on the River,” said Williams-Jones. ” I get to meet lots of great people from different areas, and the wonderful people from West Columbia,’ she said. “And I have a great time hearing all the different bands, and hearing all the great feedback about our food trucks. A young woman told me today that these are ‘the best food trucks ever.'”
Williams-Jones added that many of the people she talks to come from Columbia, or other places. “The concerts show the camaraderie, and it’s not such a big thing about ‘across the river.'”
Williams-Jones also said one of the biggest parts of the experience is the VIP tent and she lauded the volunteers who make that come together because the sponsors of Rhythm on the River are mostly small business owners and the concerts are a chance to promote the businesses.
The visitors are just as positive.
“I love coming out for the music,” said Brandy Aull, who comes to several of the shows each season with her boyfriend Curtis Fields. “It’s also great to see old friends, and acquaintances that I don’t see at other places. We always have a good time, and Rhythm on the River has such a warm community feel to it. It makes me proud of West Columbia and my neighbors. I’m a little sad the spring season is over after tonight, and I’m looking forward to the fall concerts. They are just as much fun. Aull’s boyfriend agreed.
“To sit by the river as the sun sets is just a comfortable way to end a Saturday,” said Fields, who is a football coach and teacher at Brookland-Cayce High School. “I like mingling and talking to friends. Rhythm on the River is a nice event. I look forward to it.
West Columbia City Councilman Tem Miles is a regular at Rhythm on the River. He said the concerts are “special.”
“Rhythm on the River is one of the most attractive series of events held around here,” said Miles. “It’s just a lot of fun. The atmosphere is so festive and it is one of the best uses of the river, and West Columbia’s Riverwalk. I’m going to be here and bring my family, because it’s family-friendly. I’m very proud to be a part of such a positive experience. I love Rhythm on the River and look forward to it every week it’s going on.”