Sunday, August 12, 2012
Swamp Sista La La Friends began its inaugural year as an annual event on Saturday June 23, 2012. It was an epic celebration of mostly southern music, women, independent businesses (which happen to be mostly owned or ran by women), and the hippest community in Orlando (also managed by a woman). It took place outside and inside Park Ave CDs, from 7PM – 11PM. The evening was a gathering of Swamp Sistas, soulfully connected women, (mainly) Southern women who love to keep their roots at the surface while also branching to a more contemporary sound. Audubon Park Garden District, Park Ave CDs, and Beth McKee joined to bring Swamp Sistas together for music, fun, vendors, beer, and food in Audubon Park. Beth McKee’s Swamp Sista group includes diverse and talented women from all over the South and also from all over Central Florida. The goal behind this Swamp Sista La La is to raise awareness about local independent retail stores, especially record stores like Park Ave CDs, and local entrepreneurs, which Audubon Garden District often champions. By having a Swamp Sista La La at Park Ave CDs, Beth utilized the Swamp Sista network to bring people from all over the area to Audubon Park, showing them what a special place it is.
The parking lot outside Park Avenue CDs was crowded with merchant tents while Viveca Averstedt's swedeDISH Food Truck hummed on the road. I sat next to the outdoor stage to sketch Laney Jones and her band as they performed mellow folk tuned. I'm pretty sure I sketched her performing solo outside infusion tea once on a rainy dusk. It was a hot humid evening and by the time I was done sketching I decided to go. The swedeDISH Food Truck had a Thor hot dog which was supposed to be immense. I was tempted to order one but decided to hold off. A band was also performing inside Park Avenue CDs where there was air conditioning. Terry and I negotiated and then left.