This year’s Fiddlin’ Fest will offer the same high caliber of music entertainment as in years past but there are a few additions as well.
When the popular festival returns to Broad Street on Oct. 8, the beautiful Bluegrass music will spill over onto the river.
Clark Jones, a volunteer entertainment organizer for the festival said one of the cool additions to this year’s event will be three hour-long trips on the Roman Holiday riverboat. Those three trips will take place at 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. and will all feature live music on board.
While the festival itself is free to the public, the riverboat excursions will be ticketed.
Back on Broad Street, the festivities kick off at noon with two stages and music until 6 p.m. Local Bluegrass bands such as the Barbaric Yawps and the Moon Crew will be joined by a host of other performers from around the region.
“For folks that maybe aren’t as familiar with the Bluegrass style, we’ve got some of the finest regional and national performers,” Jones said. “Most of them do this for a living. I’d say 80% of the musicians performing at Fiddlin’ Fest are professional musicians. They’re very good at what they do. You won’t find this caliber of music just anywhere.”
Scheduled performers for this year’s event include Matt Downer, The Moon Crew, Tennessee Hillbuddies, Stillhouse Shakers, Sister Street Aces, Barbaric Yawps, John Grimm, Little Country Giants, Pea Ridge Ramblers, Tennessee Stringbusters, Uncle Shuffelo & His Haint Hollow Hootenanny and Midnight from Memphis.
While the music plays along Broad Street, there will also be other activities along every block of Broad Street.
A vendor block will feature more than 100 crafters and artisans. The Armuchee Ruritans will present a “Cars on Broad” car show that will feature cars from every decade including pre-1950, street rod, original, rat rod, trucks and more. The Armuchee Ruritan Club will judge and offer “Best of” awards in several categories.
There will also be a kids block with hay rides and pony rides throughout the day.
“It’s just a great family event,” Jones said. “It’s the quintessential fall festival. The weather will be cooling down, there’s cars, music and art. This festival brings out all the walks of life in Rome and beyond.”
Downtown shops will feature sidewalk sales and restaurants will offer food and drinks for sale outside their businesses.
Another addition to this year’s event, Jones said, is that when the festival ends on Broad, musical performances will continue just off Broad and will be seen as extensions of the festival. Kingfisher Art Gallery will host two performances from 6-9 p.m. and Cosmic Dog Outpost will host a performance from 9-11 p.m.
The festival is free to the public. Broad Street will close that morning at 7 a.m. and reopen by 8 p.m.
Parking is located at the 3rd Ave. deck for free, as well as the 4th Ave. deck.