By Ashley Rader
Right about now, almost everyone is ready for an escape from winter and the snow, ice and cold.
And while this week’s temperatures are forecast to provide a respite from winter, the 50s and low 60s are a far cry from summer at the beach – and a return to the 30s is in the cards for next week, anyway.
While few can arrange a beach getaway, a much shorter trip to Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park for a night at “Bogie’s Beach” could be just the ticket to shake those winter blues.
Front Porch Storytellers Chad Bogart and Mary Jane Kennedy will bring a bit of the beach – sans the sand – to the park Feb. 28 evening with a “Beat the Winter Blues” storytelling session.
The park’s meeting room will be transformed into a summer paradise renamed “Bogie’s Beach” in honor of storyteller Bogart. The pair will focus on beach-and summer-themed stories and songs to help listeners get away from the gray days of winter.
“There will be lots of funny stories,” Kennedy said. “There will be music. There are secrets that will happen that we can’t reveal. We are really excited about this one. We just want everyone to have fun.”
Kennedy and Bogart thought of the idea for a summer storytelling back around Christmas, even before all repeated winter blasts pummeled the area.
“It turned out to be perfect timing,” Kennedy said. “I’m sure everyone is ready for a break from winter by now.”
She said all of the stories told would not have a direct connection to the beach: some will have the seaside theme while others would be summer-themed.
“These are the kind of stories that you would share if you were sitting around a bonfire at the beach,” she said. “They are all light-hearted, and to me light-hearted is summer.”
Forecasts for Northeast Tennessee offer some hope for respite, with highs near 60 with a chance of rain expected Wednesday and Thursday.
50s will rule Friday and the weekend before a slide back into the 30s next week, making the Feb. 28 event’s timing perfect.
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