By Estella R. Fullmer
For Hometown News
The 13th annual Jazz Festival kicked off this fall season's Beach Weeks in New Smyrna Beach with a party at Traders Entertainment and Sports Pub on Flagler Ave. on Sept. 27. The Marc Monteson Quintet provided the live jazz music for the kick-off party.
New Smyrna Beach Weeks is 10 weeks of family fun activities along The Loop on Flagler Avenue, Canal Street and Third Avenue that are sponsored by the Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority and the City of New Smyrna Beach. Events range from the Sand Art Festival on Oct. 6 to the Founder's Day Festival Oct. 29-Nov. 3 and the Coastal Christmas Market on Nov. 30 to everything in between.
"Our last Beach Weeks was very successful," said Carl Watson, Executive Director of Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority. "We are organizing a fall Beach Weeks that has 17 events and are targeting the advertising mainly to the top five states visiting our website -- Florida, Georgia, New York, Ohio and Ontario, Canada."
Mr. Watson said it also helps New Smyrna Beach has been named in best beaches lists.
"It doesn't hurt us that USA Today named our beaches in the top 10 Beach Destinations in the United States or that we are in the top 20 National Geographic Resort Destinations," he said.
He is using that publicity to help make this fall's Beach Weeks an even greater success than the last one.
Beach Weeks offer activities for all ages and interests. On the schedule is a Book Festival, a Gallery Walk, Canaveral Seashore Plein Air Paintout, a Country and Bluegrass Festival, Billfish Invitational Tournament, a Hot Rod Show, the Craft Beer Walk and Chili Cook-off, Florida Harmonica Championship, Spooktacular Safari Surf & Sub, Michelob Cup Race & Regatta, Wine Walks, Lighthouse Loop Marathon & 5K race, New SmyrnaWeen Creepy Crawl on Halloween night after the Halloween Costume Parade, New Smyrna Zombie 5K Beach Run/Walk, Beach Boot Camp Obstacle Course, Flamingo Follies Art Show, the Rock N Roll Music Fest, a Kite Festival, Golf Pass of Southeast Volusia, the Beach Film Festival and a Turkey Day 5K Beach Run.
The Jazz Festival offered live music at several locations along the Loop throughout the kick-off weekend Sept 27-29. So Napa Grill hosted Kyonne Riley Downtown Quartet; Toni & Joes had the Spruce Creek 12 O'clock Jazz Band and Akangana with Orlano Sanchez. Thin Film Magnetism was at The Cloisters and CCUMC hosted the Crescent City Eagles Dixieland Trio. Other establishments participating in the festival were Barracuda's, The Hampton Inn, Clancy's Cantina, Flagler Tavern, Gnarly Surf Bar and Grill, That's Amore, Peanuts, OM Bar and Chill Lounge, the Grille at Riverview, Norwood's and PJ's Sea Shack.
Several other musicians participated in the Jazz Festival, such as Robert Harris Trio, The Swing Thing, Bobby Mercer and the Good Guys, Annie Sellick with Joshua Bowlus Trio, William Petty, Mary Chuchetti Duo, La Lucha, Brian Petris Trio, Sybil Gage and her Catahoulas, the Stetson University Jazz Ensemble, The Right Stuff with Michelle Amato, Ray Guiser Quartet and Jonathan Scales Fourchestra.
Some of the acts were presented by Brighthouse Networks, Coronado Community United Methodist Church, Hometown News, Buddy Davenport State Farm and Kim Long's Cleaning, LLC. Gone Bonkers, Beachside Pack n Ship and Southern Trends Home Furnishings provided ticket sales services prior to the festival.
The Book Festival is on the schedule for Oct 3-6 with the Oct 5 Gallery Art Walk along Canal street in New Smyrna Beach rounding out the schedule for that weekend.
The week of Oct 7-12 is the Canaveral Seashore Plein Air Paintout celebrating plein air painting with 30 professional artists that have come together to paint our seashores, dune habitats, coastal seashores and historic scenes around our community. There will also be several activities downtown in New Smyrna Beach honoring this painting tradition.
The Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority has sponsored Beach Weeks and provided funding for much of the advertising and assistance to the city in arranging for the various activities throughout the 10 weeks. The authority hopes to bring in tourists from Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami and other areas both in and out of Florida to showcase Southeast Volusia County. The goal is to bring in new businesses, industry and residents and increase tourism for the entire area. For more information on New Smyrna Beach Weeks visit www.beachweeks.com.