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April Showers Drowned Out the Second Day of the 2012 Rivers and Spires Festival

Posted By Bill Larson On Saturday, April 21, 2012 @ 9:30 am In Arts and Leisure | No Comments

Rivers and Spires Festiveal 2012 - 10 yearsClarksville, TN – The second day of the 2012 Rivers and Spires Festival started out just as glorious as the first, but by early evening rain had forced the premature closure of the event for the day. Saturday looks to be clear and cool with highs in the high 50’s.

The 101st Airborne Division Rock band opened the day on the Strawberry Alley stage which has been overhauled for the opening of the of the Screaming Eagle Trail during a special event held at the Rivers & Spires Festival. The 13th of 16 self-guided driving tours in the Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways program, The Screaming Eagle travels 353 miles from Nashville throughout other cities in Middle Tennessee. Clarksville’s Strawberry Alley is one of the stops on the trail.

Tennessee State Parks was on hand with some of the native wildlife of our area including a Barred owl, commonly called a hoot owl, and the American Bald Eagle.

The symbol of our country, the bald eagle was strongly affected by the pesticide DDT resulting in a population crash that threatened the species with extinction due to reproductive failure which resulted in no known successful Bald Eagle nests found in Tennessee between 1961 and 1983. The Pesticide DDT was banned in 1972 and as a result of the protection provided by the Endangered species act along with reintroduction programs this glorious bird with its distinctive plumage and call has fought its way back from the brink of extinction.

The American Bald Eagle [1]

The American Bald Eagle

A festival attendee gets a chance to hold a Barred Owl

A festival attendee gets a chance to hold a Barred Owl

Barred Owls are highly vocal and their hooting call is often phrased as Who cooks for you, Who cooks for you all? They are more active during the day than other Tennessee owls and will even call occasionally in the daytime. Barred Owls are fairly common residents in Middle and West Tennessee, and are present but less common in East Tennessee.

Following the ceremony which you can read more about in detail later today, I proceeded to the Arts Galore marketplace. Here you can find vendors providing almost every kind of arts and crafts from face painting to pottery. As I walked through the market, festival staff were providing tie down cords to vendors with instructions on how to secure their tents for the bad weather that was rapidly approaching.

The Arts Galore Marketplace

The Arts Galore Marketplace

A young man grills up some of the delicious festival foods

A young man grills up some of the delicious festival foods

Leaving the marketplace, I found that the food vendors were in full production mode to assuage the hunger of the festival attendees. Items from Bratwurst, snitzel, to corn dogs and turkey drumsticks were cooking on the various grills. One lady was even sharing her dinner with her pet German Shepard while sheltering in the doorway to City Hall.

On the public Square Stage, I found Tres Hombres: A tribute to ZZTop playing to a crowd that was braving the increasingly strong winds. Stage personnel who were preparing to protect their stages from the inclement weather had lowered the gigantic speakers from the top of the stage to ground level so they could be quickly covered.

Tres Hombres playing on the Public Square Stage

Tres Hombres playing on the Public Square Stage

The crew of the Public Square Stage wait to see if the wet weather was going to clear up enough to resume the entertainment

The crew of the Public Square Stage wait to see if the wet weather was going to clear up enough to resume the entertainment

At this time worrying about being caught outside with the expensive camera gear I carry, I made my way under cover. A short time later the first rains moved into the area and they would not clear up until early morning forcing the cancellation of the rest of the days activities, including the performance by 7 Bridges (Eagles Tribute Band) and the fireworks show.

The 10th Anniversary Fireworks show has being rescheduled for Saturday evening.

Saturday looks to be better weather, but somewhat cooler, you may wish to bring a light jacket or sweater just in case. Hope to see you there!

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