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Clarksville closes out the 2010 Rivers & Spires Festival with some serious panache

The Rivers and Spires FestivalThe 8th annual Rivers and Spires festival drew to a close late Saturday evening. The weather was perfect and  helped to bring out record numbers of people to the festival. In excess of 40,000 people are estimated to have attended the three day festival this year. The organizers and volunteers did an outstanding job and are to be highly commended for their efforts!

Seven distinct stages hosted 17 Christian, 17 Country. 6 Jazz, and 16 Rock acts including the incredible headliner for this year, the Charlie Daniels Band. Along with a huge selection of other performances including a free performance by the Roxy Regional Theatre of Disney’s High School Musical 2, and performances by various CMCSS School’s Dance and Choir teams.

Charlie Daniels performing at the 2010 Rivers and Spires
Charlie Daniels performing at the 2010 Rivers and Spires

There were also a bevy of talent competitions including Clarksville’s Got Talent, The Next Great Songwriters Showcase;a huge scavenger hunt; and Exhibitions by Professional Dance Studio’s and their talented students.

The high society event of the festival was Dino & Vino held in the F&M “club” which featured a tribute to the Rat Pack by vocalist Travis Turpin.

A huge selection of food, wine, and a variety of beers were on hand to assuage the hunger and thirst of the attendees.

Lets us not forget the magnificant re-dedication of the Doughboy Statue.

Images of Day 3 of Rivers & Spires are included below. You can also view Day 1 and Day 2.

Here are what some people are saying about the festival this year.

Dorothy Chatham Hartzog

With the perfect weather, the crowds must have broken a record. The quality of organization of 600 volunteers is amazing. My one suggestion would be for more real craftsmen booths present and a greater variety of music and cultural events surrounding the festival.

Tammy Dohner of the Jezebellies Dance Troup

Rivers & Spires has grown every year, which makes it more fun to perform in each time. I don’t think many cities our size can boast such a terrific, well rounded festival – there is truly something for everybody. We were lucky to have great weather this year, but I’ll tell you, that asphalt is pretty hot on bare feet.

As a performer, I enjoy being able to introduce something I love to new audiences in such a festive environment. I think all the dancers in Jezebellies welcome the opportunity to chat with people after we dance.

For more information about the Jezebellies Dance Troupe, visit http://www.nadiyabellydance.com/home.

Want to see more belly dancing? Local belly dancers and instructors will perform in the 6th Annual Clarksville Belly Dance Show on Saturday, April 24 at 6:30 at Customs House Museum. This year’s show features local professional instructors Nadiya, Gwen Atkinson, and Ashley Lyle along with their students. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children and will be available at the door.

Local political candidate Greg Rabidoux

The Doughboy unveiling was inspiring and great to see the statue renovated and in a wonderful, very visible spot for our community. And who knew Mr. York could sing so powerfully!

We were pleased to be able to connect with so many people at Rivers & Spires. The weather held up great and we gave out over 300 Rabidoux4Congress Balloons to lots of families and kids! We were pleased that we had positive feedback about having so many campaign volunteers in our blue campaign t-shirts walking around with balloons and fans. The crowds seemed more this year than last so seemed like a good sign for the city of Clarksville. Overall, a success from our perspective. Thanks.

Community Activist Terry McMoore

This year Rivers & Spires Festival doubled the number of food venders and the menus provided a nice variety. I think this was done to meet the needs of the diversity of the cultures attending the festival. I saw people there from around the country, and around the world. Many of whom are either stationed here with the army or have chosen to make Clarksville, TN their home.

I could not fail to notice how active everyone was in getting information from the various community booths that were set up. But the U.S. Army’s Army Virtual Experience was the most exciting of them all. While inside I felt like I actually experienced what it was like to be a soldier in today’s army, and it was a lot of fun.

Of course a day at the Rivers and Spires is not complete for me without a few ice cold beers, a couple of bratwurst sandwiches, a giant corn dog,  some Cajun fried jumbo wings, and French fries. Man I hope neither my wife or doctor reads this, but anyway I spent around 40 dollars while at the festival and if you multiply it out by 30,000-40,000 people that is a lot of money! However with all the free music and other give aways. It was worth every penny I spent, or should I say every ticket I purchased. LoL!

Photographer and Artist Alan Goldstein

I spent a little time at Rivers and Spires this past weekend. I don’t know what the final count was estimated at, but I’ve never seen so many people in the area since I’ve been here in Clarksville and I’ve been here 16 years. I did notice that there were businesses that stayed open way beyond their normal business hours. I thought it was great that so many people were exposed to our town and our shops and restaurants.

Folks got a chance to see so much local and professional talent.

There was a great preview of the Roxy Theatre production of “High School Musical 2”.  The only other musical event I got to see was “Clarksville’s Got Talent”. The talent was all musical from a wonderful eight year old girl to country to hard rock. It was quite diverse as far as musical genre’s go, but it would have been nice to see something like a comedian or something besides music. I’m totally into music, I have over 15,000 songs on my iPod, but it just would have been nice to have a dramatic reading or comedian or some form of theater art.

I spoke to several vendors and they seemed really enthusiastic about the crowds.

I didn’t get to go back on Saturday but I could see that it was really difficult to get to the venue. As far as I know you had to park and walk. Probably would have helped if there was shuttle service from several locations to get people to downtown. I didn’t go back on Saturday because I was having a problem walking and I couldn’t make the walk from where I would have had to park. If I had an alternative way to get there I would have spent the day there on Saturday. Maybe next year.

Clarksville’s Got Talent




  1. The young lady who was dressed in her Civil War attire,(pink ball gown) #2of 20, was absolutly stunning. My brother in law could not take his eyes off her. This photo does not do her justice. My daughter thought she looked like Bo Peep.Does anyone know her name? She’s a member of Friends of Ft. Defiance in Clarksville, Tn. She was so nice to let us take her picture. Sure hope it comes out. She was the best part of walking around the area. Sue

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