JP Wood, Staff Reporter
Welcome week festivities marched on at JSU Thursday night as The City of Jacksonville and Jacksonville State University came together to host the 13th annual Spirit on Mountain Street.
Local businesses, Jacksonville residents and JSU students all turned out on Mountain Street in front of JSU Stadium for food offered by local restaurants, an antique car show, a hotdog eating contest and a free concert by Morgan Wallen.
The event has had a positive impact on local businesses for years, and 2018 was no different.
Jean and Steven Ellison, JSU graduates and owners of ‘The Music Box’ in Anniston, which offers instrumental lessons of all sorts to local children, say the event allows them to spread the word about their business and get the word out in a mass setting. This was their second year as vendors at Spirit on Mountain Street. According to Jean Ellison, her business definitely saw a spike in clientele after their attendance last year.
This year’s Spirit on Mountain Street comes amidst rising tensions between the University and the City of Jacksonville as housing, zoning and parking issues have become more prevalent during tornado recovery. Ellison says that the joint venture between JSU and the Jacksonville community is “a great way to kick off the year on a united front.”
Alongside The Music Box, there were also tents set up from multiple clothing vendors, insurance agencies, and oh so many restaurants. Pizza, sandwiches, and drinks were flowing in abundance as attendees took advantage of the $1 flat rate for concessions. As the sun set on the street festivities, country artist Morgan Wallen took the stage in the Meehan Hall parking lot for a free concert, in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd.
Proceeds from the event went to the Jacksonville Christian Outreach Center, an organization of more than 20 churches that work together to serve the community. According the Jacksonville COC, the event netted around $10,000, all of which will go to support residents within the 36265 zip code.