The sound of smooth jazz resonated through Columbia County's new amphitheater Thursday for the first time.
As the sun set behind those who attended the event, area jazz band quietSTORM took the stage for the county's first amphitheater concert.
Community Events Coordinator Stacie Adkins said about 117 adult tickets were sold, with many parents bringing their young children, who got in free.
She said she was pleased with the turnout.
"I think each week it's going to increase," she said.
Both the concert and the county's newest public arena received positive reviews from several residents in the crowd.
"It's been great," Evans resident David Coon said about the concert, where he, his wife, mother and two children had a picnic spread.
Coon said the library and performing arts center were the reason he and his family chose Evans when they moved to the area from Florida.
Tamara Baldwin, of Grovetown, who brought her 9-year-old son Grant to the event, raved about the new library and amphitheater complex.
"Columbia County is once again bringing families together," she said.
Baldwin said she was particularly pleased with the good visibility and a nearby playground, which she called "a safe environment."
Thursday's first entry of the Garden Jazz Series was followed Saturday by the first performance of the Traditional Celtic Concert Series, which featured Celtic harpist Cynthia Douglass and traditional Irish dance by Amy Mooney.
The jazz series continues at 7 p.m. Thursday with Air Apparent, a "Best Jazz Band" as voted by readers of Augusta Magazine in 2002.
Area jazz veterans Mellow-D, featuring Hakim Rahsul, will play the third show of the series April 27, and Mood Indigo featuring Rob Foster concludes the series May 4.
Tickets for each show in the jazz series cost $5 for adults, and children 10 and younger are admitted free.
The Celtic concert series continues at 7:30 p.m. May 20 with Durham, N.C. duo Little Windows, featuring Julee Glaub and Mark Weems.
The series concludes at 7:30 p.m. June 17 with the Irish fiddle, guitar and song of Randal Bays and Daithi Sproule.
Tickets for the entire Celtic series cost $30; the per-show cost is $15.
For more information, call (706) 868-3484 or visit www.columbiacountyga.gov.
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