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Harvester pushes through pandemic with creativity

Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 6:37 PM EDT
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ROCKY MOUNT, Va. (WDBJ) -A popular performance center in Rocky Mount has a new look. The Harvester has transformed the town’s Farmers’ Market to create Harvester Outdoors.

“I always told the town, it’s the perfect spot for a sweet little venue,” Harvester General Manager Gary Jackson said.

The new venue didn’t travel far; it’s right across the street from the performance center’s building.

It’s one of the ways the Harvester is pushing through the pandemic.

“We completely shut down back in March,” Jackson said.

Jackson and his team first kept the music playing through live streams.

“We did about 30 shows every Friday and Saturday night,” he said.

Now between the farmers’ market tables sits a stage, plugged into the possibilities of keeping people safe while having a good time for a new series called Harvester Outdoors.

“And it was nice just to see people out just listening to music again. It reminded me of that summer music festival feel,” Rocky Mount Economic Development Director Beth Simms said.

The Town of Rocky Mount said the performances are also helping local businesses.

“People want to get out, so they kind of made a night of it. They went and got dinner and drinks before the show, they enjoyed the show and then they went and enjoyed themselves after the show as well,” Simms said.

Visitors each get their own bubble to sit in and must wear a mask unless they’re eating or drinking. The venue also does temperature checks before letting people in.

“I’m more worried about keeping people safe. I have been doing this part for so long, and I have a great crew, so this kind of takes care of itself,” Jackson said.

Tackling a challenge with creativity, proving we can all find ways to persevere.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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