Henry bustling with activities over the summer

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

McDonough and Stockbridge are ushering in a plethora of summer activities for residents in Henry County and their families.

This week will kick off a variety of events in downtown McDonough, which range from music to politics and everywhere in between.

Leading the way Thursday is talk-radio host and former presidential candidate Herman Cain. He will host a free, live broadcast on the Square from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Stockbridge will host a free Sounds of Summer concert June 6 from 6-9:30 p.m., featuring Kasper & the 911 Band. The event will include children’s activities and food vendors, and attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to enjoy the show, says the city’s Event Planning Specialist, DaVida Robinson.

“This is the first year the City of Stockbridge is doing two Sounds of Summer concerts as opposed to one,” she says. “Stockbridge Sounds of Summer is always a huge hit, we’re expecting a bigger crowd this year, especially along with our ‘Back to School Kick-Off on July 25.”

Organizers of the concert will accept donations of school supplies for students and teachers, in preparation for the Back to School Kick-Off from 4-6 p.m. Robinson adds that the Back to School Kick-Off, hosted by Mayor Pro Tem Alphonso Thomas, is designed to “help expand and make available quality education to students in the Stockbridge area.”

Donations of school supplies can also be dropped off at Stockbridge City Hall anytime before July 10. Students and parents at the July 25 event will be able to take advantage of a Health Fair and Business Expo, as well as children’s activities and food vendors. Festivities will continue that evening with another Sounds of Summer concert featuring Gritz & Jelly Butter.

Registration forms for the Back to School Kick-Off are available online at www.cityofstockbridge.com.

McDonough will begin its own summer concert series, with three free toe-tapping events for local residents. The June 27 concert will feature a performance by The Breeze Kings, followed by Midnite Cruzer on July 18 and Funk Factory 5 on Aug. 22.

McDonough’s slate of summer activities will also include a trio of films over the summer, at 8 p.m., each night. The city’s Movie Magic program kicks off June 6 on the Square, with a free showing of “Big Hero 6.” Movie offerings in the city will continue with “Night at the Museum,” scheduled for July 11, and “Book of Life” Aug. 1.

Radiant Church will host activities for those in attendance prior to each movie. For more information, call 678-782-6230.

Main Street McDonough will host Ladies Night Out this summer to highlight a number of businesses in the downtown area. Host businesses for the program will include: Photo Magic Media at 33 Griffin Street, on June 11 and July 9 from 6-9 p.m., each night; and American Honey Company at 66 Griffin Street, on Aug. 13 from 6-9 p.m. Discounts, dining certificates and gift baskets will be available at all Ladies Night Out events.

Hampton will host a Vets Connect program May 29, from 11 a.m., to 2 p.m., in an effort to link military veterans to services they need. A Veterans mobile unit will be set up at Hampton City Hall to provide assistance in job placement, housing and veterans’ benefits. For more information on the program, contact Jea Gackowski by phone at 770-624-4440 or by e-mailing jea@tradelawtraining.com.

On May 30, Hampton will host its first Mother’s Day Brunch from 11 a.m., to 1 p.m., at the city’s Train Depot. The event will include contests for the Best Dressed table and Prettiest Hat. For more information or to reserve a table, call Linda Hutchison at 404-216-1242.

Hampton will also host a community yard sale June 6 from 9 a.m., to 3 p.m., at McBrayer City Park. Booth space is available for $10 for a 10 x 10 space, with proceeds going toward the downtown banner program.

Another highlight of summer activities in Hampton will be a July 4 parade at 10 a.m., in the city’s downtown area. A variety of activities will follow the parade, until 2 p.m.

Local residents with a penchant for performing will also get their chance to shine this summer. The Henry Arts Alliance will hold a Performing and Visual Arts Camp June 15-19 at McDonough Presby-terian Church, at 427 McGarity Road. Participants in the camp will perform at the Henry County Performing Arts Center on June 19 at 7 p.m. The free performance is open to the public.

McDonough will host Sweet Baby Ray's Crazie Karaoke & Lip Sync Battle on the Square June 18, July 16 and August 20, from 6-9 p.m., each night.

“Do you enjoy karaoke?” asks Singleton. “Do you enjoy a lip sync battle? If you said yes to either of those questions, then this event is for you! Join "Sweet Baby Ray" on the Square in downtown McDonough for the ultimate karaoke and lip-sync battle experience.”

Admission to the lip-sync event is free. For more information, call 678-782-6230.

The Arts Alliance will also sponsor an Art In Unusual Places event Aug. 20 from 6-8 p.m., at Piedmont Henry Hospital’s North Tower Lobby. The free event will include a reception with music, wine and chocolate.

For those who prefer to see a more seasoned group of performers on stage, the Henry Players acting group will present “A Little Princess” June 25-28 at the Henry County Performing Arts Center in McDonough. The play tells the story of Sara Crewe, described by Henry Players President Adriana Beckner as “one of the most beloved fictional heroines.”

“June Walker Rogers has brought her to life in this funny, sad, wonderfully imaginative adaptation,” says Beckner. “Audiences will identify with Sara as she begins her adventures in ‘Miss Minchin's Select Seminary for Young Ladies’; laugh with her as she brings happiness to others; weep with her as her fortune changes from rich girl to poor orphan; and rejoice with her when strange events bring still another reversal of her destiny."

Show times are at 7:30 p.m., June 25-27, and 2:30 p.m., on June 28. Tickets are $18 for adults, and $15 for children and seniors.

For ticket locations or more information, visit www.henryplayers.com