Wetumpka Craterfest to offer full day of fun and entertainment

Published 11:36am Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Free or inexpensive entertainment for the community is the aim of this year’s Wetumpka Craterfest.
Vanessa Lynch, executive director of the Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce, said that goal is well within reach.
“The major thing that was really important to our board was to offer a free or affordable event,” said Lynch. “We know it’s still a tough time economically and this is a good way to get people out and bring them to Wetumpka.
“Our sponsors are what make it possible.”
Craterfest is the latest incarnation of a long-time chamber event, Riverfest.
“This will actually be the 12th year for it,” said Lynch. “The reason we changed it to Craterfest was to have a name that’s unique to the Wetumpka area. It also serves the purpose of promoting the crater which we feel is an important asset for our city and it’s unique because we’re the only town with a crater in the eastern United States.”
The event, scheduled for April 20, will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until about 7 p.m.
Lynch said all activities will be centered in and around Gold Star Park downtown.
A variety of arts and crafts vendors, contests, food concessions, games, entertainment and more will culminate in a performance by headliner Keith Anderson.
“We sold out of vendor spaces a month in advance,” said Lynch. “We have vendors coming from out of state from as far away as Pennsylvania.”
Activities leading up to the finale will include a kid zone with bounce houses, children’s activities, face painting, art projects and a petting zoo.
Some vendors will offer pony rides, trampoline, big swing and train rides for children for a small fee.
In addition, race car driver Lee Mason will be on hand, as well as Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
Anglers for Kids and the Wetumpka High bass fishing team will offer kids activities, and the Humane Society of Elmore County will have adoptable pets.
On-stage entertainment will begin at 10 a.m. with a performance by the Wetumpka Elementary School show choir.
Other scheduled musical acts will be Dave Cameron at 10:30 a.m., Britt Johnson at 11:15 a.m. and the Fibergrass at 12 p.m.
“There will be music on the big stage all day,” said Lynch.
Local artist Bradley Roberson will perform at 1 p.m., followed by Chris Stapleton at 3 p.m. Lynch said Stapleton is a well-known song writer.
Keith Anderson will take the stage at 5 p.m. The country music recording artist is best known for his Billboard chart topping hit song, “Picking Wildflowers.”
There will also be two presentations made by the Wetumpka Impact Crater Commission.
Lynch said a few VIP passes remain at a cost of $250 per pair.
“The passes include all-day access to the hospitality tent, roped-off seating and a parking pass,” she said. “They also include a meet and greet with Keith Anderson which includes a photo.”
A limited number of event T-shirts will be available for purchase at $15 each. Tickets will also be offered for a chance to win a Mad River canoe. Cost is $5 each or five for $20.
“The canoe drawing is a fundraiser to help pay for Craterfest,” said Lynch.
She said the only real issue of the day will probably be parking space.
“We are working on overflow parking accommodations,” Lynch said. “We will announce details on the chamber website and the event Facebook page. There will be handicapped parking available near the library.”
Attendees at Craterfest should bring their own lawn chairs or blankets for seating.
Lynch said coolers are also allowed, though she encouraged guests to support event vendors.
“I’m very excited,” she said. “This has already brought a lot of great attention to our area.
“We’ve seen increased interest in membership to the chamber and definitely increased call volume about everything from prospective business members to people interested in visiting the city. There have been a lot of calls about lodging.”
Details on the event are updated regularly on the chamber’s website, as well as on the Craterfest Facebook page.

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