Jimmy Buffett tribute concert supports charity, fun


The looming threat of Hurricane Florence forced Housing Partnerships to cancel Saturday’s 8th annual Jimmy Buffett-themed Parrots of the Caribbean benefit concert.

But fans of Buffett’s music and lifestyle know how to go with the flow, and in similar fashion, organizers were able to secure the Lake Matoaka Amphitheatre for a performance Sept. 22 instead.

“It’s hard to find a niche or a genre that everybody likes. For the most part, everybody likes Jimmy Buffett, or you know his music,” said Brandie Weiler, executive director of Housing Partnerships.

The Ohio-based Parrots of the Caribbean tribute band will return for a seventh year to serenade the crowd with music from the man known for songs like “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Margaritaville.”

“They do a great job. They work the crowd. They’re just a good group of guys,” Weiler said.

Weiler lauded the band’s flexibility rescheduling on short notice as the Lake Matoaka concert marks the end of the group’s tour, and she echoed similar sentiments toward the College of William and Mary coordinating to ensure access to the venue.

Local musician Johnny St. Clair serves as the opening act, taking the stage at 5:45 p.m. The main act performs at 7 p.m.

For the concert, Housing Partnerships also works with the local Parrotheads of the Phininsula organization, which supplies volunteers to bring the event to life. Member Phil Kandel said the group likes to promote local charities, and the Buffett event is a good way to draw attention to Housing Partnership’s PIPE program.

“They get a better understanding of what the charity does and what they do for Williamsburg,” Kandel said. “People who enjoy that Jimmy Buffett lifestyle are people who like to volunteer and give also.”

The PIPE program raises money to help install indoor plumbing for families in need throughout Williamsburg, James City and York counties.

“I think in general, we all forget and just go and turn on the water to wash our hands and brush our teeth and wash our clothes. We have people that don’t have that,” Weiler said. “That’s the reality for some of our neighbors. In 2018, this is still an issue.”

The concert features food and drinks including beer available for purchase. In true Buffett fashion, it’s an accessible and family friendly affair.

Weiler hopes the event’s timing, so close to Hurricane Florence, will remind people of the value of even those daily necessities that can be so easily taken for granted and raise awareness of the work her organization does.

“The main goal is to bring awareness about Housing Partnerships in general,” she said.We have been around since 1985, which says a lot about a housing nonprofit in Williamsburg.”

Want to go?

The Parrots of the Caribbean concert runs 5-11 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Lake Matoaka Amphitheatre, 121 Ukrop Way. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door or $10 for students and children. For tickets and more info, visit 2018pipeconcert.eventbrite.com.

Birkenmeyer can be reached by email at sbirkenmeyer@vagazette.com, by phone at 757-790-3029 or on Twitter @sethbirkenmeyer.

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