Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | March 16, 2011

Oh, The Things We Do

Our friends, Ron and Becky, (of  “Octogenarian” and “Caught Pink-Handed” fame), had been after us for quite some time to go to Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park for dinner and the Elvis/Karaoke night.

Under normal circumstances, this is not something that Keith and I would choose to do, so we held off for months, but since we had promised that we would go before we left White Springs, and our time here is running short, last Monday we decided to give up the fight and check it out.

It’s a short drive to the Music Park, which is a full service campground and music venue that covers more than 500 acres and hosts multiple music festivals throughout the year. Each week, on Monday and Thursday, “Elvis” emcees karaoke at the SOS Cafe ~ the restaurant, bar and music hall on the campground property.

After entering the park and stowing the truck in a parking space, we walked into the cafe. The cover charge is $5 per person, but you receive a coupon worth $5 toward food or beverage purchase.

Our hostess and waitress were friendly, with that southern sort of charm, and after being seated, we settled into the task of deciding what we would order.

Ron and Becky chose the fish basket, Keith ordered the all-you-care-to-eat catfish, while I went for mom’s home cooking and selected meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, and green beans.

The food was served quickly, and everything was tasty…not gourmet, but exactly what you would expect from the corner diner…and sometimes just what you need before a night of Elvis and karaoke!

We resisted several attempts to get us signed up on the karaoke performers list, from both Elvis and his lovely assistant, and then sat back to relax and enjoy the show.

Most of the crowd was made up of performers, their families and friends, along withcampground guests and locals who like to dance and party on Monday nights.

Elvis was first on stage, performing several numbers. I must say that he has a great voice, and did justice to his namesake…gyrating hips and jet black Elvis hair…but with a western shirt? Now, that did not compute!

Lots of dancers took to the floor, and it was fun to watch the different couples as they waltzed and boogied.

One older guy ~ we called him “green plaid shirt man” ~ was especially fun to watch during the fast numbers. He had no clue how to dance with the rhythm of the song, but he got out there anyway, and energetically hopped around and flailed his arms in time with some inner tempo. I can’t tell you who had more fun that night…he had a blast dancing, and we were entertained all evening by the show!

After warming up the audience, Elvis turned the mic over to the karaoke singers. Most were regulars who brought their own music and didn’t have to look at the monitor for the words. Now, I have never been to karaoke before, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I thought that most of the singers did a great job, and that was kind of disappointing.

I had been expecting a host of really bad singers to provide comic relief, but just a couple fell into that category, and they were so earnest in their efforts that it was hard to giggle, and you had to give them an “A” for effort.

Keith does not agree with my take on the performances ~ he saw more technical issues than I did, so he had an even better time chuckling all night long.

In the middle of the show, Elvis came down from the stage during a song and strolled through the audience, stopping at different tables for “photo ops”. Our friend, Ron, had taken him aside earlier in the evening to make a special request ~ so here is our moment with Elvis, recorded for posterity…

Barbara, Evis and Keith at the SOS Cafe

Pardon the goofy looks on our faces, but how would you look if you were having your picture taken with a dead guy!

All in all, it was a fun evening, and we plan to go back to see the park in the daylight….heard that the Allman Brothers are coming in April….we may have to check them out.

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