Councilman Tom Tait
Councilman Tom Tait
January 29, 2014



Rolling Stone magazine, take notice.

Some fierce music criticism is now flowing, from of all places, the Carroll City Council chambers.

During a regular council session Tuesday, Councilman Tom Tait, with plenty of head shaking and disapproving sighs, ripped the Carroll County Connect Young Professionals' feature band selection for this year's CarrollFest, a citywide celebration planned for Saturday, Aug. 9, at Graham Park.

Tait told CarrollFest organizers he's no fan of the The Breakfast Club, a colorful, Chicago-based 1980s cover band that played at the community celebration last year.

"I would like to see better bands," Tait said. "See me next time. Just see me next time."

Tait said he could find superior musical acts at more favorable rates. He offered no suggestions on bands during the meeting.

Dr. Greg Banks, chairman of the Connect Young Professionals, said The Breakfast Club band was popular among CarrollFest attendees last August. He said many people approached him and asked for a repeat performance.

"They were high-energy and got more people involved," Banks said.

He added, "You can't go wrong with '80s music."

The Connect Young Professionals paid the band $3,400 last year, and the local group has a written agreement to bring The Breakfast Club back for the same fee in August.

The city paid $10,000 to help launch CarrollFest in 2013, but is making no direct monetary contribution this year. Banks said CarrollFest pulled in about $13,000 in revenue after expenses that will go to fund the 2014 event.

Banks, 30, a Carroll chiropractor, and Christy Anthofer, 35, a grant writer for New Opportunities and the vice chairman of the 158-member Carroll County Connect Young Professionals, requested some improvements to Graham Park before the festival, including: more lighting in park walkways; more electrical outlets; addition of one more vollleyball court; repair of entrance gates; and the painting of the band shell.

If the city moves on transforming the former Graham Park tennis courts into a basketball facility, the Young Professionals would look to add a basketball tournament to the lineup of CarrollFest events.

As it stands, CarrollFest will include the same events as last year: kids safety fair; business booths; volleyball tournament; skateboard competition; the Graham to Graham race; bingo; and music and a beer garden in the evening.

The event is expected to run from 8 a.m. to midnight.

This year, organizers expect to have a car show and expand activities for families.

The United Way will remain in charge of food service, but that organization is expected to open up opportunities to outside vendors for a fee in order to bring more selection to CarrollFest.

And there may be more ideas to make the day a success, Banks said.

"We're always open to suggestions," Banks said.

Following the meeting, Councilwoman Carolyn Siemann said the Young Professionals are bringing an extraordinary amount of positive energy to the city.

"Isn't that Young Professionals group great," she said. "They are really getting things done."