Homegrown & Green in Twenty-14. That’s the official theme of this year’s 27th Annual Ronceverte River Festival. New and exciting things are happening at Island Park June 12th through Father’s Day, the 15th
Green-thumbers are busy planting a new community garden, runners are warming up for the 5 mile run, fishermen are getting their gear ready, volleyball and basketball teams are tweaking their court skills, Grand Parade participants are decorating their entries, mud boggers are putting on their boots while craftsmen, artists and vendors of all kinds are getting their wares prepared. And, the Island Park Amphitheater stands ready to showcase the River Festival’s Concert Series – 4 nights of fresh, diverse concerts by some of the Greenbrier Valley’s most talented musicians and singers, fourteen bands total.
Thursday’s Ampitheater presentation opens at 6:45 pm with ‘NEW VOICES’ featuring young and aspiring musical artists including the thunderous rhythms of the Greenbrier Academy African Drummers, the up and coming singer/songwriter duo, Marguerite, and finishing out the night with a 2 hour set, Greenbrier East High School’s own, hugely gifted troupe, 2nd Block Rock.
Friday brings ‘APPALACHIAN ROOTS’ to the stage at 8pm with three enjoyable groups. “Folk Like Us” offers an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary folk music with a splash of bluegrass with instruments including Mother Maybelle Carter style autoharp, banjo, guitar, trumpet, upright bass and mandolin. Foot stomping fun is Cabin Fever’s trademark with high energy fiddle and banjo combined with heartfelt vocal expertise. Local favorite, Harmony Creek Junction, always delights with a wall of bluegrass vocal harmonies.
If the Jimmy Buffet style sound or Traditional Rock and Blues floats your boat, check out Saturday’s ‘ROCKIN’ THE ISLAND’ line-up starting at 7 pm with the soulful acoustic blend of husband/wife duo Rivertown Gypsies. Tropical rockers Lost Shaker of Salt is up next doing, well can you guess? Then it’s Butch and the Whitewalls rounding out the evening in lively, danceable style.
Sunday (Father’s Day) we’ll ‘CELEBRATE THE SACRED’ beginning at 6:30 pm with Native American group Red River Drum followed by an all gospel set with the vibrant vocal harmonies of female acoustic duo, Little Sparrow. The celebration continues with traditional Southern Gospel by The Gloryland Quartet, then it’s on to a contemporary Christian sound by Bryan McManus with Mary and Bob Thompson. Wrapping up the Festivals’ concert series is the inspirational voice of African American Gospel singer Tracie Wilmer whose set will be followed by the annual Grand Finale Fireworks Display.
In addition to great free concerts, the 27th Annual Ronceverte River Festival is full of family friendly events and activities including the ever popular carnival exhibition and, new for this year, a Hillbilly Zip Line. You’ll want to get in line early for this one! Saturday also marks the return of the Ronceverte Public Library’s Annual Strawberry Shortcake Sale fund raiser before and during our signature Great Rubber Ducky Race at 4 pm Saturday. Duck tickets are on sale now at numerous local establishments (look for the bright yellow signs). The grand prize is $10,000 cash and only 3,500 tickets are available! So, get your tickets now before they’re all sold out.
More info regarding The 27th Annual Ronceverte River Festival’s ‘Appalachian Roots’ night can be seen at mountainmusictrail.com.
General festival info at www.facebook.com/The2014RoceverteRiverFestival