It’s been several days after the end of the 2010 Riverfest Celebration, and for those who worked the two day festival, life is returning to normal. The hard working folks with the Clarksville Department of Parks & Recreation along the entertainers, and hundreds of volunteers ensured that the visitors could simply enjoy some good wholesome family fun.
This was the first year that Clarksville Online and Discover Clarksville was selected to document the festival as much as was humanly possible. Roland Woodworth, Ashley and Meghan Hamilton, and Bill Larson were given the job of photographing everything in the tiniest of detail, while Mark Haynes shot hours and hours of raw video footage, and Sue Culverhouse took it all in to get material for her wonderful articles!
The festival kicked off on slightly wet Friday, but by the evening things had mostly dried out. The crowds started off slow, but as people became sure that the rain had stopped they began to come out in droves.
Tour D’ Art
The Tour d’ Art on Friday was jammed pack with a veritable who’s who of the Clarksville Art scene. For more information see Sue Culverhouse’s article.
The Entertainment kicked off Friday evening with a great lineup of Christian performers on the Gateway Stage including the multiple Dove Award nominated group Addison Road, and Exit Right. While the Budweiser stage featured performers such as Diana Pelham, Chris Monhollen, Eden’s Edge and comedian James Fyke were Budweiser Stage on Friday night, followed by the Country Band Restless Heart. The Mary’s Music Stage featured some of Clarksville’s Best Alternative, Punk, and Rock bands including local favorite Hometown which headlined the evening.
The Riverfest Regatta kicked off Saturday morning. It featured bigger and more ornate boats as competitors from last year took the lessons they learned and improved their entries.
The most ornate were the CDE entry which looked like one of their linemen’s service trucks, and the Tennessee Frame Company’s Queen of Clarksville; it was really great to see the Queen of Clarksville return to the Cumberland River, even if it was only in effigy.
Many in the crowd were sure the CDE boat would capsize and sink due to it’s top heavy nature, but it surprised us all. Though the crowd did ooh and aah every time it leaned a bit to one side or the other. The amber light and the colored smoke from the smokestacks were a great artistic touch. While they didn’t win the race, they were recognized as one of the prettiest boats in it, when they received the “Ship Shape Award”.
There were several spectacular sinkings including:
- The Southside General which was simply too narrow for its two crew members. Perhaps adding an outrigger next year might help!
- The Clarksville High School Boat which sank fairly quickly once its crew boarded. The crew showed their mettle by remaining with their boat in the water until they crossed the finish line.
- The Hui Hawai’i o Tenesi Hawaiian Civic Club’s entry the Okole Maluna. The four person boat disintegrated as they crossed the finish line. Roland Woodworth captured the entire sequence of the sinking for your enjoyment.
- The boat “Escape from City Hall” which featured four crew members in Inmate shirts. After their boat sank they were promptly re-apprehended by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and sent back to their continue their imprisonment at hard labor.
9/11 Rememberence Ceremony
At Noon the City of Clarksville held a remembrance ceremony for the first responders who died in the 9/11 attacks in New York City. The 101st Army Band played a drum roll as the colorguard approached the stage. The Colorguard consisted of three members of the Clarksville Police Department, and two Clarksville Firefighters. They carried three flags. The United States flag, The New York Police Department flag, and the New York Fire Department flag. One of the figure fighters also carried a fire axe that was carried on 9/11. The Clarksville Police Department Chaplin lead a prayer for the victims of the attack, and those who have lost their lives since.
Here’s a video of the Ceremony shot by Mark Haynes.
Afterwords, the 101st Army Band continued to play for a bit.
Local Talent showcased
After the ceremony was over it was time to catch some of the best of the local dance academies performing at the Gateway Stage. Represented were the Distinguished Steppers Unlimited, Clarksville Artistic Show Troupe, Natalie’s Dance Network, XPLOSIVE, Lana’s Dance Network, Acro Dance Express, Showtime Dance Studio, Montgomery Central, The Daughters of Hul, Glorious Feet Dance Academy, and STARS Dance Group.While I didn’t get to see them all I wish I could have. The ones I did get the opportunity to see were outstanding.
Operation Rising Star Finalists
After the dance shows it was time for Fort Campbell MWR’s Operation Rising Star Finalists. These Talented people have been performing at the Sportsman Lodge every Friday evening at 6:00pm. The winner will represent Fort Campbell at the National Operation Rising Star finals. You don’t have to be military to go out and enjoy the competition. For non-military Drive up Lafayette Road until you arrive at 101st Airborne Division Road where you make a left, then make a right into the next paved road which should be Sportsmans Lane Rd. The Sportsmans Lodge is at the end of that short drive.
Gateway to Stardom
Gateway to Stardom is an annual talent event which features talented youngsters from age 6 to 21 who compete through a series of preliminary events for the privilege of competing on stage during Riverfest. The judges this year were Kelly Maselli, Art Conn, Rene Ross, Justin Byrk, Samantha Maselli and Chris Monholland. The show was hosted by Samantha Maselli and Justin Byrk.
The performers at this year’s Riverfest included Julia Appleton, Brianna Carbary, Aaron Carmichael, Michael Cox, Billy Cunningham, Maddie Mauk, Dominique Dy, Shane Fallon, Humberto Figueroa, Madison Fisher, Whitney Gaston, Robert Betts, Kyle Greene, Steven Hawkins, Jordan Hawley, Ashley Hicks, Brooke Hudgins, Kyle James, Brooklyn Lyle, Kyusok Lee, Tae’Shaona Mathews, Adrienne Meadows, Makenna Cleveland, Briana Middleton, Richard Mosley, Martavious Votaw, Wesley Sutherland, Sera Owens, Jayonna Purcell, Cyrus Pryor, Darrion Reddin, Sophia Rodriguez, Ryan Ruppel, Courtney Sanford, Javier Sierra, Christa Waller, Christian Walls and Shaneva Woodard.
Kelli Maselli of Gateway Realty and Investment Group, founded the Gateway to Stardom competition several years ago to showcase the young talent of Clarksville. Raising two teenage daughters, her house was quite often filled by talented youngsters that she felt needed a venue to be seen and heard. Since Gateway Realty has sponsored a stage each year for Riverfest, Maselli felt compelled to give these talented young people that much needed outlet.
Wait Staff Wars
This annual event is a highlight for many people at Riverfest. The contest which is sponsored by Chefmart, pits local restaurants servers against one another in a head to head competition to the death! …Just kidding they are tested in their ability to rapidly set three place settings at three tables, to see who’s quickest at navigating a series of obstacles with a tray of drinks, their ability to memorize their customers orders, and last but not least their ability to quickly clear the three tables after their customers leave.
Featured in this years Contest was Edwards Steakhouse and The Hilton Garden Inn, with the Hilton Garden Inn taking the top prize in the contest.
The Adventure Zone & Toddler Town
Located at the opposite end from where it was last year, the Adventure Zone & Toddler Town was located on the newly opened great lawn, part of the North Extension of the Riverwalk. The Adventure zone offered inflatables, a petting zoo, Toddler Town, a static vehicle display from Fort Campbell, Archery Range, Laser Tag, Hot air balloon, train ride, face painting, and of course vendor booths. The Adventure Zone was also the location of the always popular River of Culture Stage.
Clarksville Family Magazine sponsored the Toddler Town area, and one of the most appreciated additions of this year was a dedicated changing station for parents with younger children, another item that was highly coveted was the their designer tote bags.
Carla and Cliff Lavergne publishers of Clarksville Family Magazine greeting guests to Toddler Town.
Saturday Evening Entertainment
Saturday evening saw the completion of the Beaver Country Idol Competition with Steven Whitson from Nashville Tennessee being named the winner of the 2010 Competition. Chris Monhollen the 2009 winner was also on hand to perform for the crowd. Chris has always been a crowd favorite, and is still looking for his big break; so if anyone has connections in the Nashville country music scene, please put in the good word for him!
The evening also featured performances by Burger Run, DJ 40 0z, Everlife, Guest, James Fyke, Jimmy Wayne, July Lee, Kingbilly, New Planet, Possum Holler, and Shmuck.
Jimmy Wayne is the consummate performer. This man knows how to work up a crowd and keep them at a fevered pitch. During his forays out into the crowd he really kept the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputies on their toes. He also took the time during his performance to pose for pictures with crowd members including one very young girl who was in foster care as her foster mother looked on in joy.
July Lee was also something to see according to Roland Woodworth, “There were many great bands to perform on the two stages this year. From local bands like Chris Monhollen ( Awesome ) to more well know bands like Restless Heart who filled in for James Otto after he was admitted to the hospital and had to cancel. One of the better ones ( my opinion ) was July Lee. These girls have great sound and a great performance. These girls along with the Stagebreakerz can put on a show. At one point they selected a couple guys out of the crowd to help them perform one of their songs. These guys seemed to be having alot of fun on stage with July and Treia. This is one band that you will not want to miss their next show. You can check out their music on facebook or myspace.”
Riverfest is a marathon of things to see and do, but the effort was well worth the return! We hope to see you there next year!