Flagler County, FL – Capturing the magic of Flagler Beach history, it was a look at past, present and future at the Dennis Fitzgerald Performing Arts Center, better known to locals as the Flagler Auditorium.

Enjoying a socially distanced pre-show event with members of the Gallery of Local Arts (GOLA), guests for the second installment of the 2021 Community Celebration Series were treated to an array of works by local artisans before heading indoors for a musical experience unlike any other.

While the first show in the series opened in February with Absolute Queen, Saturday night’s show offered something closer to home. In fact, in the words of performer Capt. Nick – just seven tenths of a mile to paradise.

It was all things Flagler Beach, from a timeless photo gallery courtesy of the Flagler Beach Historical Museum, to local music circuit celeb Capt. Nick, extolling the virtues of the Old Florida beach town.

Capt. Nick brings the lively beach vibe to the Flagler Auditorium as part of the Tribute to Flagler Beach night, the second in the 2021 Community Celebration Series spring season, on Saturday, February 27, 2021.

“Flagler Beach is an amazing place to live and work,” said museum director Kathy Wilcox.

“There are so many people who are dedicated to helping other sand supporting our local businesses. To have the Flagler Auditorium devote one evening as a Tribute to Flagler Beach was very special. It was an honor for the Flagler Beach Historical Museum to be a cohost of the event and share some of our photographs of “Flagler Beach of years ago” with the audience,” she said.

Taking the stage with a powerful opener, The Cherry Drops had fans reaching for their cell phones to commemorate the evening with videos. Joining the 60’s styled retro band for the evening were legendary rockers Steve Boone from Lovin’ Spoonful and Mark Dawson from The Grass Roots, both of whom have made guest appearances on the band’s albums including the song “My Mind is An Open Canvas”.

“They’re people look up to, they’re our musical comrades but they’re also heroes of ours,” said Vern Shank, who co-founded The Cherry Drops alongside bandmate Josh Cobb. “I pinch myself every day and say I’m sitting in the room with these legends.”

The rockers have fallen in love with the area, and host weekly shows on Shank’s radio station Surf 97.3 FM, but say that they’re all friends, first.

The Cherry Drops rock the stage at the Flagler Auditorium on Saturday night for the Tribute to Flagler Beach evening, as part of the 2021 Community Celebration Series. February 27, 2021.

“Just pulling in the parking lot and seeing the amount of cars that were pulling in, I could see this is a good thing,” said Dawson. “People are glad to be out and if this is the vehicle for getting people out to hear live music, it’s a wonderful thing. Recognizing Flagler Beach, and Flagler in general, it’s a great idea.”

Flagler Auditorium director Amelia Fulmer worked to contain her inner fangirl as the show lit up the stage.

“The Cherry Drops are such great guys they were able to make some phone calls and bring Steve Boone and Mark Dawson,” said Fulmer excitedly. “To bring all of this talent to our stage during COVID, when we only have 250 seats is an absolute miracle.

“We’re happy to have Capt. Nick because he’s been doing songs from his couch and his carport all through COVID and we’re excited to have him here,” she said. “He writes most of his songs and they’re all about a place we love, Flagler Beach.”

The next show in the 2021 Community Celebration Series features a tribute to girl power with “Pat & Pink”, a multi-generational look at strong women who’ve achieved great success. The pre-show entertainment will bring together the Professional Women of Flagler County and the Boss Ladies of Flagler County to network, mix and mingle.

“It’s two generations of women and all about women having each other’s back and working together,” said Fulmer.

During intermission, the Flagler County Historical Society will be joined by the AAUW Flagler County Branch to share exciting news about the Women’s Voting Rights Museum project underway in Flagler County.

For show tickets or the dinner and a show package, visit https://flaglerauditorium.org/.

Featured Photo: Cool cats chill out backstage before rockin’ the audience at the Dennis Fitzgerald Performing Arts Center, also known as the Flagler Auditorium, on Saturday night as part of the 2021 Community Celebration Series. The Tribute to Flagler Beach included The Cherry Drops featuring special guests Lovin’ Spoonful’s Steve Boone and The Grass Roots’ Mark Dawson. From left, Josh Cobb, Vern Shank, Steve Boone, Mark Dawson, Jamie Markowski and Jimmy Mason.