Fiddlin’ in the rain: Bluegrass festival goes on despite downpour (copy)

The Hackberry Hilltoppers from Nashville, Tenn., perform bluegrass music at last year’s Fiddlin Fest on Broad Street. This year’s event runs Saturday from noon to 8 p.m.

One of Rome’s most popular fall events takes place this Saturday and will bring the sweet sounds of Bluegrass to downtown Rome.

The 2021 Fiddlin’ Fest Between the Rivers, a free event, will bring more than 10 different regional and local bluegrass bands to Broad Street, showcasing their instrumental talent and musical energy.

There will be two live music stages along with activities in every block of the festival. Broad Street will be closed to traffic in the 100, 200, 300 and 400 blocks. Festivities begin at noon and run until 6 p.m.

Music will include performances from the Barbaric Yawps and David Long and Midnight from Memphis. There will be two stages, the South Stage in the 100 block and the North Stage by 5th Ave on Broad Street; both stages will host a variety of bluegrass performers throughout the event.

Harper Williams said she’s excited for this year’s festival. A resident of Chattooga County, she has been to Fiddlin’ Fest twice and said she looks forward to it each fall.

“The music is wonderful,” she said. “You’ve got so many talented musicians playing bluegrass music in one place. My boyfriend and I just love walking around Broad Street listening to the bands and walking into the stores and restaurants. It’s really a great event and we’ve brought different friends each year.”

Classic car lovers will want to check out Cars on Broad showcasing cars from every decade including pre-1950, street rod, original, rat rod and trucks. The Armuchee Ruritan Club is presenting the show and will judge and offer “Best Of” awards in several categories.

A Vendor Village will host over 45 arts and crafts vendors in the 100 and 200 blocks of Broad Street. Artisans will offer an assortment of items including jewelry, quilts, tie-dye, paintings, door hangers, woodworks, and much more!

There will even be pony rides for the kids. A portion of the 200 block will be dedicated to pony rides, available at $5 per ride. Shops throughout downtown will feature sidewalk sales and restaurants will offer food and drinks for sale outside their businesses.

A new addition to this year’s event is Fiddlin’ Fest River Cruises. Guests can board the Roman Holiday Riverboat to cruise Rome’s rivers while enjoying the sounds of musical artists. The 1 p.m. cruise will host the Griddle Lickers; 2 p.m. cruise will host Kindred Fire and 4 p.m. cruise will host Russel McClanahan & Phil Helton. Tickets for each cruise are $12 per person and can be purchased online at RomeGeorgia.org/RomanHoliday.

Parking is located all around the festival including free parking at 4th Ave and 3rd Ave parking decks.

For more information, visit www.fiddlinfest.com or contact the Office of Downtown Development at 706-236-4520 or email downtown@romega.us.

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