Country jubilee to kick off statue event series
The Eudora statue project began with a memorial brick road.
Next it will give Eudora a little taste of Branson, Mo., by way of Tonganoxie.
That's because Annie's Country Jubilee will come to town Friday to tune up their guitars and fiddles in order to raise money for a statue of the town's namesake.
"We basically do a theater-type show every Saturday," co-owner Terry Dunavin said. "It's basically going to be the same type of show we do here."
The group will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. in the Eudora Middle School auditorium to what event organizer Tom Tucker hopes will be a packed house.
"He's wanting to pull in some of our regular crowd," Dunavin said.
The event will mark the first in a series of monthly events to fund the bronze statue of Eudora and her father Chief Paschal Fish, which will be unveiled at the EudoraFest 2007 celebration in time for Eudora's sesquicentennial.
In Tonganoxie, the jubilee leads listeners through a toe-tapping tour across decades of country music ---- everything from Johnny Cash to Alabama.
"We play mostly legends or classic country, but we do play some new country," Dunavin said.
The group often adapts touring guests during their local show, and Friday night's performance will not be an exception. The jubilee brought in Kelcey Fowler to help out.
"I think Annie's band itself is going to be fantastic and this just makes it all the better," Tucker said.
Guest appearances aside, the show will also give Eudora a taste of the house band's prowess.
"Everyone in our group performs and sings along with Annie," Dunavin said.
Before settling in Tonganoxie, Annie Dunavin toured the Midwest taking part in country music shows, Dunavin said.
Many of the jubilee's musicians have played in acts throughout the area. The fiddle player ---- Marvin Bredemeier ---- has even worked with such names in the genre as Hank Thompson, Dunavin said.
The show will also represent a homecoming.
Dunavin grew up in Eudora and lived here with his wife for many years.
"One of the reasons we're doing this is because all of our kids graduated from Eudora originally," Dunavin said. "So it was just something we could do for the city."
The couple moved once they bought the theater in Tonganoxie.
"It's been in business a little over 10 years," Dunavin said.
The group already has some loyal fans in and around Eudora.
"We have several people from Eudora that come here in Tongie on a regular basis," Dunavin said. "Tom is gracious enough to do the first show for them for the benefit."
With tickets on sale for several weeks, Tucker has found reason to look forward to the performance.
"I think it's going to be a win-win situation all around," Tucker said.
The band will help earn money that will go toward the statue project, and the crowd who might not otherwise travel to Tonganoxie to see the show would know what they are missing, Tucker said.
In addition to the concert, citizens will have a chance to look at the classic cars maintained by the Lawrence Car Club and by tickets for an upcoming drawing.
Following Friday's concert, the next event to help fund the $75,000 project is a bike run organized by local businessman Matt Montgomery.
For the moment, both Tucker and Dunavin are about filling seats for Friday's show.
"Music is the highlight of the show," Dunavin said.
Advance tickets are available at Eudora City Hall, Kaw Valley State Bank, Mutual Savings Association and Douglas County Bank, all in Eudora, and Annie's Country Jubilee in Tonganoxie.
Admission is $9 for adults and $5 for students and children.