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A flash mob in Victoria? (video proof)

By Camille Doty
April 14, 2012 at 10:02 p.m.
Updated April 14, 2012 at 11:15 p.m.

Mina Hegaard, left, and Debra Chronister dance to Clay Crockett and the Shotgun Riders on Saturday during JAM Fest at DeLeon Plaza. Hegaard was running a booth at the event.

The Saturday rain showers didn't dampen Rene Chase's spirits. She tapped her feet and sang along to sounds of Clay Crockett.

Although the 53-year-old Victoria native traded in Corpus Christi city life to move back home, she doesn't feel deprived.

"There's always something to do here," she said.

Chase said she's been introduced to so many artists because of the Victoria Fine Arts Association.

The all-volunteer organization hosted the JAM Fest at DeLeon Plaza where almost 1,000 people attended the association's signature event.

This year, organizers changed the jazz theme to offer a broader array of sound. There was a mix of local acts, out-of-town bands and a flash mob to stun the crowd.

"Our sound is diverse and that's what they want," said Mona Gonzales, the art organization's secretary. She said changing the sound got more young people involved such as Arturo Fonseca.

The 20-year-old Victoria College student said music has made him a better person. He played the trombone and bass for the festival.

At first he used to get the jitters playing in front of large crowds but he has learned to perform. "It's just natural now," he said.

Denise Felder skipped her Saturday ritual of bingo to attend JAM Fest.

The 51-year-old New Jersey native was partying since 11:30 a.m. and enjoyed the variety of music - from "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green to "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Felder said other concert attendees helped put her in a good mood, "Have you ever seen so many people so calm yet so into it," she said.

Cherlyn Hodge wanted to spend her birthday at the JAM Fest. The 27-year-old advising specialist said she loves all types of music.

Hodge didn't feel as if she missed out on normal birthday traditions of going to dinner and cake cutting.

"I got the best of all worlds right here. You get to eat and listen to live music," she said.

It may not have been Chase's birthday on Saturday, but the fun-loving grandmother stopped counting her age years ago.

"My son says I act like I'm 25," she said. Some of her friends thought she was crazy to move back to a smaller town.

Twenty years ago she decided she wanted to raise her family in her hometown. When she gets the chance to brag, she does by sending pictures during event like JAM Fest.

"I tell them, 'See this is what you miss by living in a big city,'" she said.

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