Festival expected to be bigger and betterPublished 9:44am Thursday, July 11, 2013
An event which drew rave reviews after its debut last year will be back in Wetumpka July 20 – The River and Blues Music and Arts Festival. Tiffany Robinson, one of the event organizers, said she expects the music-centered festival to attract even more people than 2012’s estimated 4,000-5,000 attendees.
“I’m definitely expecting a larger crowd judging from the number of phone calls I’ve been getting,” she said. “Plus we broadened our advertising a little and reached out to more markets.”
River and Blues will offer two stages with 11 bands, performing zydeco, blues and jazz. There will also be food vendors, arts exhibitors, a Kids Zone and a barbecue contest. Action will begin at 2 p.m. and end at 10 p.m. with a giant fireworks show.
“We’re excited to be able to showcase Wetumpka and all of the special qualities of the city and people,” said Robinson. “And, it’s great to provide good family entertainment for our citizens as well as bring in people from surrounding areas.”
She said there will be a few changes from last year’s festival.
“The atmosphere will be a little different because we’ve added a few little elements to give it more of that New Orleans feel,” Robinson said. “We’ve also moved the locations of the barbecue contest and the arts exhibitors.”
The main stage will be located in the lower parking lot behind the city’s administrative building. Food vendors will be in the parking area directly behind that building, and arts exhibitors will be set up in the park area between the lower parking lot and the riverwalk.
Gold Star stage in the park behind the city hall/library building will provide a venue for other musicians. Children’s rides and inflatables will be set up at Crommelin Landing (boat ramp). Face painting for young attendees will be near the gazebo in Gold Star Park.
The third annual Cookin’ on the Coosa barbecue competition will be located near the one-room log cabin behind the Elmore County Museum. Grill masters will compete in several categories and festival attendees can sample their wares with the purchase of a $10 armband. Proceeds will benefit the Wetumpka Boys and Girls Club.
“There will be lots of free stuff,” said Robinson. “The only things people will have to pay for are the barbecue wristbands, any food or arts and crafts purchases they want to make or if they want to buy an event T-shirt or commemorative poster.”
The day’s musical performers will be Cockeyed Camel, Polar Opposites, Sam Marsal, Britt Johnson, Old School Blues Band, Blind Monty Hall Band, Jimi and the Fire Dogs, Lefty Collins Band, Sweet Licks Jazz Band, King Bee and Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots.
“I think the music will be even better than last year’s,” said Robinson.
And, more than a week out, everything is under control, she said.
“We’re just fine-tuning a few details. We’re ready to go. It’s real and it’s here and we’re ready. Of course, it couldn’t be done without the support of the city, the sponsors and the volunteers.”
Robinson encouraged everyone looking for a relaxing evening to come to the festival.
“They can bring their chairs or blankets and their cooler and just have some fun,” she said. “And they can bring all of their friends with them.”
There is no admission charge to attend River and Blues Music and Art Festival activities.
For information on the event, contact Robinson at 334-567-1384 or trobinson@ cityofwetumpka.com. Information is also available at www.riverandblues.net or on the Wetumpka’s River and Blues Music and Arts Festival Facebook page.