Actor brings “good times” to music fest
by Rachael Brown
Jul 21, 2013 | 3101 views |  0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The plaza and pavilion at Zinn Park were the setting for several hours of entertainment Saturday after the rain clouds parted. (Anniston Star photo by Bill Wilson)
The plaza and pavilion at Zinn Park were the setting for several hours of entertainment Saturday after the rain clouds parted. (Anniston Star photo by Bill Wilson)
Thunderstorms couldn’t deter more than 2,000 people from taking their lawn chairs to Zinn Park Saturday evening for the second annual Model City Music Fest.

The crowd enjoyed reminiscing about one of their favorite TV characters, J.J. Evans from the ’70s sitcom Good Times, and looked forward to hearing a standup routine from Jimmie Walker, the actor who portrayed him. Several teens were excited for an unorthodox Saturday night in Anniston filled with live music scheduled from funk band Midnight Star.

Darren Thomaston, 47, of Anniston, said he watched Good Times every day after school.

“I always liked it when he said ‘Dy-no-mite,’” he said with a laugh.

Thomaston said he went to the music fest in hopes of meeting Walker after the show to take a photo with him and get an autograph.

The rain had cleared by the time Walker took the stage, an hour later than originally scheduled, but organizer Larry May said “That’s rock and roll. You just keep rolling.”

May said the stage was set up at 8 o’clock Saturday morning, but the crew had to wait three hours for the rain to pass to get started.

“I had everybody out here talking to Jesus. So we were good to go,” May said.

While waiting for the show to begin adults visited vendors serving barbecue and funnel cakes. Children took advantage of the park’s swing sets and an inflatable “Scooby Doo” bounce house.

Jashawn Caldwell, 10, said as he munched on some popcorn that he had fun playing in the bounce house and sliding down the inflatable slide..

Before Walker started the show, Anniston Mayor Vaughn Stewart led the crowd in singing “Happy birthday” to the Model City.

Walker kicked off his comedy routine by saying it’s always fun when he comes to Alabama, but he’s “got to watch the cops.”

“I’m driving in and a cop pulls me over and wants to give me a ticket. I said the least you could do is give me a warning. He fires two shots over my head,” Walker said to a laughing crowd.

Walker’s routine made fun of President Obama, the recession, and Paula Deen.

“Things are going so well with me. I’m dating Paula Deen now … when I asked her out two years ago she wouldn’t talk to me, but she changed her tune this year,” Walker said.

Leonard and Charlotte Huckabee said they went to the show to see what Walker looked like “after all these years.”

“We need a lot more stuff like this,” Leonard said. “It brings the community together.”

Charlotte said she sees businesses being built in Oxford and wants the same for Anniston.

“This is where I was born and raised and I’d like to see the town grow some more,” Charlotte said.

If May had it his way, each year would be bigger and better for the music fest.

“We have a plan for next year. All of that is contingent upon the City Council enjoying what we do,” May said.

Staff Writer Rachael Brown: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @RBrown_Star.
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