Although not yet widely celebrated in this part of the country, a group of Sweetwater residents hope to make it a community tradition to celebrate the unofficial holiday, Sweetest Day. A benefit concert featuring three up-and-coming female artists at the Municipal Auditorium will be the main event for that day in Sweetwater.
Sweetest Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of October, mostly in the northeastern part and Great Lakes region of the United States, having started in Cleveland, Ohio in 1922. This year that day will be Oct. 19.
Scott Morgan, owner of Morgan Real Estate and organizer of the Sweetest Day Benefit Concert, found in his research of the holiday that it was started by Herbert Birch Kingston, a Cleveland philanthropist and candy company employee who wanted to bring happiness into the lives of orphans, shut-ins and others who were “forgotten.” He began distributing candy and small gifts to the underprivileged. Other sources say a group of candy makers got together and organized the holiday, and distributed boxes of candy to the less fortunate, getting movie stars of that time to help distribute.
Although Sweetest Day is more popular in the northeast, Texas is now among the top 10 states in sales involving the holiday.
Sweetest Day, somewhat like Valentine’s Day, is an opportunity to express romantic love, but also appreciation of family and friends. Morgan says it’s also an opportunity for Sweetwater to host entertainment and have some fun things to do for its residents. That is why organizers picked October 19 for this concert and accompanying activities.
“Plus, Sweetest Day just sounds like it should be a holiday in Sweetwater,” Morgan said. He added that they hope to get something started annually in Sweetwater to celebrate this now little known holiday.
The concert will be held at 6 p.m. at the Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium Saturday, Oct. 19 and will feature three artists, Kristine Mirelle, Kimberly Dunn and Melanie Martinez, who will perform 45 minutes each. Proceeds will benefit the Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium and go towards continued improvements of the facility.
General admission tickets are $10 each while premium tickets are $25 each. Premium tickets will include special seating. Sponsorship packages of 10 premium tickets are available for $400 and include a half-page ad in the concert program. After the show, all concert goers are invited to a reception at the Sweetwater Country Club to enjoy snacks and a cash bar and a chance to mingle with fellow concertgoers, as well as the performers.
Kristine Mirelle performed on the Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium stage last December. A Roswell, New Mexico native, Mirelle is known for her piano playing, as well as her voice. She discovered her love for music at the age of 4 when she started taking piano lessons. She later began peddling her music, some of which she recorded in her boyfriend’s closet, door-to-door in New Mexico, even singing on unsuspecting residents’ doorsteps. She now lives in Hollywood and performs six to seven days a week in different places in the city. She plays what she describes as pop/soul.
Kimberly Dunn will also perform for the Sweetest Day concert. She has played in this area as well and will be playing at the Lumberyard Oct. 1 for the Shale Show. Her singing and guitar-playing talent was recognized when she performed for a live audience for the first time in November 2010 for a Battle of the Bands contest at Texas A&M, where she was a senior and the only solo acoustic contestant. She won that contest, and as a result was noticed by a record label, Up and Out Artists. The San Antonio native soon graduated from A&M with a degree in agricultural leadership and a minor in music, and is now making her mark on the Texas Country music scene.
Melanie Martinez, a recent contestant from the televised singing contest, The Voice, will also perform at the Municipal Auditorium. She finished #5 on The Voice last fall, earning her some exposure. Martinez, age 18, is a Long Island native and has already had two of her recordings make the Top Five on iTunes. She also has over 93,000 followers on Twitter and 94,000 fans on Facebook. She is working to release her original music and recording new songs with producers John Feldmann, Robopop and Thomas Bartlett.
Purchase tickets for the show at the Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce. Call 235-5488 for more information.