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SOWEGA hosts block party

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- Word of mouth brought people out to a SOWEGA Tax Service party at Veterans Memorial Park Amphitheater on Front Street Saturday.

"This is our way of giving back to our clients and the community," said Shay Hosely, the tax service's office manager and events coordinator. "We did one last year but it wasn't as big. We hope to get even bigger next year."

The block party included a three-song appearance by Atlanta Hip-Hop group Travis Porter at about 2:30 p.m. By then the crowd of more than 200 had been dancing to the sounds of DJ Tray from 98.1 Kiss FM.

"I just think this is great," said Latasha Brown, a SOWEGA Tax Service client. "I love the music and my daughter Danishia just loves to dance."

Two-year-old Danishia was too busy dancing to the music to respond to a request for an interview. That was also true of the children enjoying the inflatable bouncy castle amusement.

There were cash prizes for the under-21 crowd in dance contests, a 2006 Chrysler 300 was raffled off to customers of the business and the good times rolled until the early evening.

Making the rounds of the park, Sir Macke the clown brought smiles to the faces of children and adults.

"I am glad to be here to help my friends at SOWEGA Tax Service say thank you to the community," Sir Macke said. "I am the first black professional clown in Albany and you can quote me on that."

Several dozen gathered as a fight broke out about 6:40 p.m. at Turtle Park on Front Street as the party was winding down at the amphitheater. One female suffered a head injury and several people were arrested by the Albany Police Department, said Phyllis Banks, police spokeswoman.

"The fight started at Turtle Park, moved to Ray Charles Plaza and then to Oglethorpe (Boulevard) and Front Street," Banks said.

There were no more details immediately available Saturday night, Banks said.