Large, diverse crowds attend 2013 Gadsden Riverfest
The annual Gadsden Riverfest continued Saturday drawing thousands of people near the banks of the Coosa River. After 27 years, organizers say the festival continues to grow, attracting patrons and vendors from outside the area as well as some pretty big artists.
Thunderstorms delayed headliner Kenny Rogers and canceled the performance of country singer Corey Smith. But weather did move out.. allowing the annual fireworks to go on followed by Rogers taking the stage.
Earlier, music started strong at the second day of the Gadsden Riverfest with one of it's own.
14-year-old Kate Falcon first performed for Travis Tritt at age 11. She's now pursuing a musical career. "I was excited when the Chamber asked us to come play. I love Gadsden, I love my hometown and the support they give us."
And Riverfest Veteran, Alicia Nelson, found her place near the front row. "I've seen Three Doors Down, Everclear, Brett Michaels. I get to see Kenny Rogers tonight."
Riverfest Co-Chairman, Mike Shannon, says "We draw people from a number of counties around Etowah County, so a lot of people come in, stay, eat in our restaurants. It's a good economic boost."
Wayne Searle and his wife travel the country selling their laser engraved wooden tributes for the military. "We saw entertainment they were having here and I think it had to be a well organized event to get people like that."
A rain delay kept things quiet on stage for a little while. Many people took cover in the Beer Garden which expanded in its second year. Shannon says, "We offered afternoon live entertainment in the Beer Garden, which was wonderful."
Organizers say they will begin planning next year's event as soon as possible, hoping it will draw even more people to Gadsden next year.