New Albany, MS- Other than the date change to October 7-8, New Albany’s Tallahatchie Riverfest has a number of changes in store.
The first big change will be evident early in the week as the Lowery Carnival Company returns to the Farmers’ Market area to begin setting up their carnival, which should be up and running by Thursday, October 6.
The carnival will continue on Friday night, when a number of downtown restaurants will also be offering dining specials. Billed as “Dine Around Downtown,” event organizers hope that visitors will enjoy a meal at a local restaurant before heading down to the carnival and/or concerts.
From 6:30 until 10:30 there will be free concerts at the Riverview Stage at Park Along the River which feature local, or locally loved acts. The concerts will start with Paul Tate’s Electric Trio. As some may recall, Paul and his band wowed audiences at the 9th Levitt Concert Series at the park this year. Following Paul Tate will be the Paul Rainey Band, one of New Albany’s oldest continually playing bands, making their debut appearance on the new stage at the park. The concerts will conclude with The Eisenhauer Band with special guest Bobby Rush. The band will be playing in support of their new album, Fortune Cookie, which features a new direction for the band and its lead singer, Amelia Eisenhauer, who performed on the final season of American Idol this past year.
Saturday will begin with the Street Market on Bankhead at 10 am. This year the market will return to the middle of Bankhead Street with many downtown merchants having their own booths in front of their stores. The street will be closed from the Trailhead to the Main Street from 6 am until it reopens at 6:30 that evening. While arts and handmade items are still a big part of the market, the market organizers this year have also opened up spaces for vintage items because of demand from both buyers and sellers. The deadline for signing up for the market is October 1.
In addition to the market on Bankhead, there will be a number of other activities downtown during the day. There will be magic shows at the Trailhead, Kids’ Activities by Macaroni Kid at Cooper Park (including an appearance by otters, monkeys and other exotic animals), and street musicians throughout the afternoon. For those wanting a break, the carnival midway will be operating all day and into the night and there will also be pony rides and another petting zoo at the entrance to Park Along the River.
The night’s concerts will begin at 4:30 on the Riverview Stage with the alt-country band, Mississippi Stomp and will continue with the Rising Star Fife & Drum Band, Kevin Sekhani (a Louisiana skiffle band) and the headliner, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, who will take the stage around 9 pm. Videos of all the bands are posted on www.tallahatchieriverfest.com.
Parking and Getting Around
This year there will be dedicated handicapped parking at the Library Parking lot as well as a free golf cart shuttle service that will make stops at the Library Parking lot, the top of the market (the trailhead), Cooper Park, the bottom of the market and carnival midway, and the Park Along the River. Priority for rides will be for the elderly and disabled, but if seats are available, anyone can ride.
Friday evening, October 7:
- Dine Around Downtown: Some downtown restaurants will be offering specials on Friday night (TBD); visitors encouraged to dine downtown and walk to concert
- 6:30 – 7:15 Paul Tate Electric Trio
- 7:30 – 8:30 Paul Rainey Band
- 9:00 – 10:30 The Eisenhauer Band with Bobby Rush
Saturday, October 8:
- 10:00 – 5:00 Bankhead Street Market
- 10:00 – 5:00 Kids’ Activities at Cooper Park by Macaroni Kid
- 10:00 – 5:00 Pony Rides at the Park Along the River
- 11:30: “Street” Magic Show at Trailhead
- Noon – Midnight: Carnival Midway
- 1:30: “Street” Magic Show at Trailhead
- 2:30 – 4:00 Bonfire Orchestra Acoustic Show at Trailhead
- 4:45: Mississippi Stomp (AltCountry/Americana) on Riverview Stage
- 6:15: Rising Star Fife & Drum Band (Blues/Hill Country Folk) on Riverview Stage
- 6:30: Bankhead Street Reopens
- 7:15: Kevin Sekhani (Louisiana Folk) on Riverview Stage
- 9:00: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder (Bluegrass/Country) on Riverview Stage
For more information about the festival prior to the festival, the website is at www.visitnewalbany.com. To keep up with things going on during the festival, Twitter users can simply search for updates at #NAriverfest.