RED SPRINGS — A countywide arts project will cruise into Red Springs on Thursday.
The project, called Arts Cruising, includes a series of arts celebrations in Red Springs, Pembroke, Rowland, Maxton, Fairmont and St. Pauls. It began in September and run through April.
The Red Springs event is planned for Thursday at Red Springs Middle School. The concert will feature storyteller J.W. Rone and blues player Lakota John Locklear of Pembroke.
Margie Labadie, the president of Jumbo Arts International in Red Springs, said the local event will include a day of story telling with a blues concert that night.
Vendors will offer an assortment of food and one-of-a-kind artwork during the event, which is being sponsored by Jumbo Arts International. Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Red Springs, Jumbo Arts International is a nonprofit dedicated to bolstering artists and musicians across the region.
“We’re glad to be a part of this great effort,” Labadie said. “This is an fund-raising event that should provide a fabulous evening entertainment for our community.”
The Robeson County Arts Council also helped plan the event.
Nila Chamberlain, a member of the county Art Council, said the group wanted a way to showcase the wide variety of arts and artist in the county.
“Art and quality of life comes in all shapes and sizes and packages,” she said. “We thought it was important that each community be a part of this. We didn’t want people reading about what someone was doing … we wanted them to be active participants.”
A parade of cars and emergency vehicles will drive into Red Springs to help kick off the arts event. The motorcade will be assembled behind the Robeson County Public Library for each cruise-in at 5:30 p.m.
Red Springs residents who want to take part in the motorcade, but don’t want to drive to Lumberton, can meet the caravan when it stops briefly at the Dairy Ranch restaurant at 931 E. Fourth Ave. in Red Springs. Police will escort the motorcade into town.
“We invite residents and visitors to show support for the arts by joining the motor cruise,” Labadie said.
There will be an opening reception at the middle school at 6:30 p.m.
The Storytelling portion of the program will begin at 7 p.m. and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
The ARTober Festival will mark Rone’s first visit to Robeson County. In addition to regaling audiences with his stories during the event, Rone will lead a storytelling workshop and play a blues show alongside Locklear.
“JW Rone will delight the audience with his amazing stories and the public will be invited to the microphone to share their own stories too,” Labadie said.
Arts Cruising will continue on Nov. 28 with a holiday festival in Rowland. On Dec. 13, the series will move to Maxton for a parade and holiday festival. After taking a break in January, Arts Cruising will return on Feb. 12 as part of the Fairmont Arts Alive! Festival. On March 13, the series will visit St. Pauls for the downtown Night Out event.
Arts Cruising will come to a close on April 9 with a possible art crawl in Lumberton.