By Frank Lewis
Some folks in this area think the Christmas season hasn’t started until Jim Spinnati stages the annual Christmas extravaganza at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts on the campus of Shawnee State University. This year the Sonshine School of Evangelism’s 22nd annual Christmas Gift to Portsmouth concert has seen a change in schedule. This year’s show will be held at 7 p.m. on Nov. 30.
“They (SSU) backed me up. They took my Thursday night spot out even though it was confirmed that I had it,” Spinnati said. “Maybe I’ll be able to go back to Thursday after this.”
As in the past, the show will be anchored by the trio of Art Bush, Jeff Bush and Tracy Tooley. Standby Spinnati sidekick Danny Bentley will keep the show moving along. Also performing this year will be pianist Steven Foster, Bobby Blanton, the Dave Melton Family, Bryan Goins and River Road, who have performed on the Grand Ole Opry, will be there.
“They’re (Bryan Goins and River Road) going to do an acapella thing for America there at the end,” Spinnati said. “They’re really good and their harmony comes in there great.”
In addition to the entertainment, Spinnati always presents awards to citizens of the area who have distinguished themselves.
“I just see the city the way it is and I just try to make a difference,” Spinnati said. “We need to change the mindset of our area around. We just try to uplift. We’ve got the Vern Riffe Center and you can hardly find a place like that anywhere else in the country except in the big cities and some of the big cities would be hard-pressed to have one as nice as we have.”
Tickets for the show are free and are available at the Daily Times, Desco Federal Credit Union, Tim Horton’s, Praises, and at the sponsoring churches – The Quincy, Kentucky Church of Christ, Central Church of Christ in Portsmouth and Carey’s Run Church of Christ.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.