The Music through the Years Music Festival will be held on May 11 at George Core Park and will serve as a fundraiser for the Port St. Joe Centennial Celebration events scheduled to take place in June and July.
The festival will be headlined by The Villagers, a popular Florida group from the mid-1960s that will reunite for the fourth time in 15 years.
The group’s most notable tune, “Laugh it Off,” reached No. 1 on the WDLP Funtastic 59 chart in Michigan and “Where Have You Been” hit No. 4 on the WBAM Top 40 in Montgomery.
Locals may even recall the dance they played at the Centennial Building on July 4, 1968.
Formed at Chipola College, the group gigged around the state for years and cut its first record with Rick Hall at Fame Studios.
As the band members went their separate ways, singer Cliff Ellis went on to become a basketball coach for Clemson University, Auburn University and most recently, Coastal Carolina University.
The Panama City act, Go Big or Go Home, is scheduled to open the event with their 15-person band jamming out the biggest hits from the 1970s to today.
Local singer-songwriter Charlie Black will also be on hand to perform some of his greatest hits. Black is a Grammy-nominated scribe who has written No. 1 songs for Reba McEntire, George Strait and Alan Jackson.
He will be accompanied by his songwriting/singer wife, Dana.
Local group The Boyer Band, along with hard rockers Again We Rise and Thirty Three will round out the show and complete the music through the years auditory experience.
In October of 2012, Mayor Mel Magidson appointed a centennial committee that included representatives from the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce, Gulf County Tourist Development Council, St. Joseph Bay Historical Society and members of the business and private sector to begin planning the celebration 100 years in the making.
Dana Boyer of Boyer Signs and head of Port St. Joe fundraising committee, worked hard with seven other members to put the fundraising concert together.
“It’s going to be a wonderful day,” she said, especially excited to have The Villagers. “People remember them.”
She took a moment to give thanks to those who donated goods for the event. Sound and lighting equipment for the music festival was donated by St. Joe Music, Centennial Bank provided tents and George Duren provided hamburgers, hot dogs, barbeque and other concessions that will be sold on-site.
“We couldn’t have done it without the generosity of the local merchants,” said Boyer.
All money from the event will go toward the centennial events that will include a parade, light show, art fair, a 30-foot timeline wall to remember the history of Port St. Joe, an alumni basketball game and a birthday celebration.
A book of vintage photographs will be printed for the event along with a special commemorative coin for the occasion. Both items will be available for purchase throughout the celebration. Money raised from the music festival will also toward the annual Fourth of July firework show.
“Lots of people worked hard to make this happen,” said Boyer. “Let’s all celebrate Port St. Joe’s birthday.”
Sponsorship opportunities and donations are still being accepted. Visit www.psjcentennialcelebration.com for more information.
The music festival will run from 3 p.m. to 11. Tickets are $10.