The sky was cloudy, the rain was heavy and loud but the music was even louder as Fiddlin’ Fest went on despite the dreary weather.
Organizer Clark Jones said he was watching the weather all week and was afraid that he might have to cancel the fifth annual bluegrass music festival. After big events like Chiaha Harvest Festival and Coosa Valley Fair were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Jones wanted to ensure the event would go on, rain or shine.
During the morning of the event, Jones condensed the festival down to one stage and notified the out of town musicians about the change. The stage was covered by an overhang so the musicians weren’t rained out and the speakers had plastic covers on for protection.
After these protections were put in place, the festival was ready to go.
Lisa Powers said this was her first time at Fiddlin’ Fest and she was “absolutely loving it!” As the rain came down, Powers was right in front of the stage, dancing along to the Hackberry Hilltoppers.
“I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina so it feels like home,” she said. “It’s hard to sit and not get up and dance.”
“Rain or shine, it’s a lot of fun!”
The festival had a little something for everyone. Arts and crafts vendors were set up in tents in the 100 block of Broad Street and vintage cars lined the 300 block of Broad.
Some of the vendors included Rome Axe Throwing, which hosted a small axe throwing booth for attendees to try their hand at, and Mountains Ice Cream, which had a booth making fried oreos and other treats. Sparky the Firedog from Rome-Floyd Fire Department greeted attendees and handed out stickers to kids along Broad Street.
Towards the end of the event, Jones said he felt good about the turnout, despite the rainy weather.
“A lot of the musicians are actually my friends so they were jumping at the bit to perform,” Jones said.