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Cheering for cheers

Dozens of Capital City Cheer participants performed a show at Capital Mall on Sunday for spectators. Such large community events had been rare in recent years at the mall. Capital City Cheer had hoped to get 1,000 spectators at the event.

Dozens of Capital City Cheer participants performed a show at Capital Mall on Sunday for spectators. Such large community events had been rare in recent years at the mall. Capital City Cheer had hoped to get 1,000 spectators at the event.

Capital City Cheer supporters packed the JC Penney’s wing of Capital Mall Sunday afternoon to watch girls of all ages put on a show.

It was the largest gathering for an event at the mall in recent memory, with crowds expected to exceed 1,000 people. They may have reached that number, as the crowd was jam-packed from storefront to storefront.

Some spectators stood or sat inside the stores to get a glimpse of the young cheerleaders tumbling and dancing to music.

The older girls did choreographed routines, and helped some of the younger display their tumbling skills.

A “special needs cheer” segment featured girls with disabilities, including Margaret Romph, who was involved in cheerleading at the age of 5 when a vehicle wreck paralyzed her and confined her to a wheelchair.

Organizers were happy for the turnout, but nervous about obeying fire code regulations. They made at least two announcements, asking spectators to clear paths by the storefronts.

Under ownership of General Growth Properties, the mall has struggled in recent years and fewer large community events have been held there.

Last December, the Farmer family, owners of F&F Development, bought the mall. They have said they hope to make changes to invigorate it, but warned that the changes will take time.

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