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HomeNewsArchivesOctober Sunday: 32 Years of Music and Magic

October Sunday: 32 Years of Music and Magic

Oct. 9, 2008 – Autoharps, dulcimers, guitars, saxophones, tambourines, and just about any other musical instrument you can think of will ring out at the 32nd celebration of October Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at Magens Bay Shed #3.
The festival was conceived during an outing of the St. Thomas Dive Club in l977. Fred and Polly Watts led a campfire sing-along on a beach in Virgin Gorda. The music that the Watts family sang was that of the American mountains, which preserved traditional tunes of England, Scotland and Ireland. On the way back to St. Thomas Jimmy Loveland, who had just taken over Sib's restaurant, suggested doing an evening of music in the restaurant parking lot.
So began the annual festival which has become a fall tradition. Since that Sunday 32 years ago the event has undergone many transformations. Under the care of the founders, the humble gathering at Sib's grew into the must-attend festival of St. Thomas. In its glory days, the musicians of October Sunday played to thousands of guests.
Nothing could stop October Sunday Festival – not even Hurricane Marilyn in 1995. Watts says even n the wake of that storm, a scaled down version of the festival played on in Emancipation Garden, raising almost $4,000 for the American Red Cross.
These days, the Watts say, the smaller gathering at Magens Bay is back to where it started., an informal jam session with perhaps 600 folks attending.
Sunday's lineup includes: Rob Kunkle, Jason Jones and Alicia Cardina, Harmony Dem (Fred and Polly Watts,) Nicky Russell and Janet Reiter, Lonesome Louisiana Dave, the Sun Kings, Tim West and the Barefoot Davis Band.
And there will be dancing. The Youth Showcase includes the VIIPA Dancers, (the VI Institute for the Performing Arts), the Eudora Ken Jazz Ensemble, the Lockhart Quadrille Dancers and Praise Group, and Sweet Strings.
There's free birthday cake for everybody from what Polly Watts called the island's biggest birthday cake. It's donated by David Warner of Bread and Cakes Bakery and is sponsored by several local businesses.
The event raises money for programs of the Family Resource Center as part of its observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
It's a potluck affair. Everyone is urged to bring a dish for the Potluck Buffet. Drinks will be available.
There's no admission charge, but the regular Magens Bay parking fees apply.
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