First Toe Jam exceeds expectations
SPRUCE PINE – The inaugural Toe Jam Music Festival rocked downtown Spruce Pine Saturday, Aug. 31, well into the night.
Live music took place in the Carolina Theatre parking lot on Lower Street with seven rock ‘n’ roll bands taking the stage throughout the day playing hits spanning several decades of rock music.
Jimmy Hinshaw, who spearheaded the organization of Toe Jam 2019 as well as the Spruce Pine Alien Conference and Expo, or SPACE, festival that took place in downtown Spruce Pine this past June, said he estimates around 3,500 people made their way to the festival over the 12 hours.
“We couldn’t be happier,” Hinshaw said. “The weather was great, the bands sounded great, and everyone seemed to have a really good time. Vendors were pleased and have asked to come back next year.”
Several downtown businesses also felt the impact of the festival. Claudia Rothman of the Tropical Grill on Oak Avenue said her two busiest days of the year have been the day of the SPACE festival and Toe Jam.
“Jimmy Hinshaw and the other organizers are doing a great job for Spruce Pine,” Rothman said. “Our customers all said they were very happy with the festival, too.”
In addition to live music, the festival also featured activities for kids, the Toe River Health District zipline, watermelon-eating and hula hoop contests, games, local food and product vendors, and a beer garden featuring Burnsville’s Homeplace Brewing Company.
Festival co-organizer and Mitchell County Commissioner Jeff Harding said the donation area for Shepherd’s Staff raised $1,085 for the food bank.