And Athens Boogied On

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The Lennon Orchestra played classic Beatles tunes for a joyous crowd on Saturday, but they changed one particular song to get the crowd going: "Why Don't We Boogie on the Bricks?"

With plenty of local food, drinks, a bigger children's area and two music stages, Boogie on the Bricks came dancing into its 10th year in Athens.

The event that began at noon Saturday featured 14 musical performances, a beer garden and vendors of all sorts.

"It's the first day of summer and we have the longest day of the year to celebrate and have a good time," said Scott Kreps, event coordinator.

Efforts to make the event "self-sustainable" were also working well, Kreps said. Solar panels from Third Sun Solar provided some power for the event, and Rural Action's Zero Waste Initiative also partnered with Boogie on the Bricks to reduce landfill impact at the event.

The event is aimed at bringing a sense of community with a good time. While improvements have been made throughout the years the event has been doing its dance on Court Street, Kreps said festival organizers try to focus on what they've done right.

"We have had amazing events throughout the year to try to raise money and get people to come to Boogie on the Bricks and we've had an amazing group of volunteers that help us every year," Kreps said.

One group he recognized among many was the local roller derby team, the Appalachian Hell Betties. The entire team was attending the event, selling their shirts and volunteering to keep the party going.

"We're a non-profit team so the more we help the community, the more they help us," said Ali Mariscal, or Hot Tamali, as she's called on the derby circuit.

She said Boogie on the Bricks is a unique community event, where adults and kids can all enjoy themselves.

"It's summertime, it's a great event for people that like good music and want to take their kids along," Mariscal said.

Whether young or old, dancing was on the minds of the attendees of the event as much as the food or community. Athens resident Jill Ford said her family comes every year, this year including three grandchildren, aged 5, 4 and 1 1/2.

"We come to listen to the music and kids love to dance." Ford said. "There's something for everyone."