Just three years after returning to its renovated home, Festival in the Park is set to kick off Friday evening with a diverse line-up of local, regional, and national talent, headlined by rock band, Blue Öyster Cult. In addition to the music, the three-day event will once again feature an array of arts, crafts, and family-friendly entertainment, that has made it as much a staple of Roanoke as the illuminated star that sits atop Mill Mountain.
It seems fitting that the Festival, which is celebrating 49 years of ushering in summer with great music in downtown, includes BÖC, which has been rocking the world stage for just as long. This year features 40+ bands over the course of three days. Much of the offerings are free to festival-goers, and admissions for the evening headliners are real bargain at only $5 per night or $10 for all three nights.
Festival Friday kicks off with three talented local acts, Ghost Eagle, the effervescent Erin and the Wildfire, and country-rock showmen, Rutledge, before the Bristol roots-rock / country band Folk Soul Revival takes the main stage at 8:30. While there will be plenty of music throughout the day Saturday, things will really start cooking with Groova Scape at 5:30, followed by local favorites Tobacco Apache, and Gasoline Alley. It’s at 8:30 when Blue Öyster Cult, creators of the power rock classics “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”, “Godzilla” and “Burnin’ for You”, are set to explode onto the Elmwood Park stage. “OH NO! THERE GOES TOKYO. GO,GO, GODZILLA!”
The festival will close out Sunday night with the return of the Beatles’ tribute band, 1964 The Tribute. The breadth of musical offerings and dance performances will be held over the course of the Memorial Day weekend are too numerous to list here, so visit the Festival website (http://www.roanokefestival.com/index.php) for the complete list.
And this isn’t just about the music and merriment, Festival in the Park is a 501 C3 – Not for Profit Corporation. Over the past 28 years, more than $127,000 has been provided in scholarships to area high school students pursuing the arts in their post high school education.
We hope you can make it downtown this weekend to add your energy to this Roanoke mainstay, and help ensure that it will be rockin’ on for another 49 years!