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Clarksville, TN – The final day of the 2013 Rivers and Spires Festival began with absolutely glorious weather. The sun was shining and the sky was that special shade of blue you get after a spring storm. The crowds started showing up even before the 10:00am official opening time.
Dave Loos, Jr. from WJZM 1400 AM was on hand broadcasting Live from the Bill Roberts Thunder Road Automotive and Marine booth just down from the Roxy Regional Theatre. He spent the morning interviewing festival organizers and some of the sponsors.
On Strawberry Alley crowds were gathering for Daymar Institute’s Stompin’ in the Alley which brought together area Step and Dance Teams to strut their stuff before the festival attendees. The competition is about the display of attitude, creativity, showmanship, skill, respect, dedication and enthusiasm for the history of stepping and hip hop!
Just across North Second Street the Corvettes on the Cumberland were displaying the objects of their pride and Joy. The participants were judged with entries winning trophies, door prizes, a 50/50 drawing. There was also plaques for Largest Club and Longest Distance.
At the USAA Military Appreciation area festival visitors were getting exposed to real world military weapons and vehicles including the Go Army Bike and the Orange County Choppers “Army Strong” motorcycle. This was also an opportunity to learn more about USAA which has been serving the financial needs of the military community, veterans who have honorably served and their families since 1922.
At the Public Square Stage local martial arts groups and dance students were getting ready to perform. Young men were leaping into the air practicing their round kicks as they warmed up, as little girls in their makeup were excitedly chatting with each other as they waited their turns.
In front of the Leaf Chronicle building the second of the two car shows were going on. This one was sponsored by the Memory Lane Cruisers, and featured A variety of classic cars, street rods, muscle cars, classic trucks.
Company A of the 50th Tennessee Infantry Re-enactment Regiment was on hand with an encampment where festival attendees could learn about the rich civil war heritage of the region as well as find out more information about becoming part of the re-enacting community.
My next stop was was the Montgomery County Animal Control Mobile Adoption Trailer which was a wonderful idea. It put adoptable dogs and cats in front of a large number of people and was a great success with at least 22 Dogs and 6 Cats at the time we spoke with them finding new homes.
Quilts of the Cumberland is a place you can find a unique and distinctive art on display. The many talented quilters have put a lot of hard work and creativity into their display pieces and it really shows! This year there some of the the tools used in quilting were on display.
In the Green Zone you were given tools and tips to help promote a more sustainable lifestyle. The 2013 Green Zone Participants Included Madison Street United Methodist Church Creation Care Committee, Bi County Solid Waste Management, Clarksville Department of Electricity, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation, the Habitat for Humanity Restore, Montgomery County 4H, Recycle Clarksville, The Food Initiative, The Tabernacle, TN Trails, The Friends of Dunbar Cave, and Window World. The Green Zone was Located in the Family Fun Zone which also contained Toddler Town, the Kids Zone, Teen Zone, and the Family Fun Stage.
I would bet that many families spent most of their time at the festival in these areas.
Lydia Walker performed at 3:30pm, and was proud to have been selected to perform at the festival. “I am so excited to be apart of something so special to Clarksville, my hometown,” stated Walker. “I got to sing on the Family Fun Stage at this year’s Rivers and Spires. I had a great time. It was an awesome crowd. We ended up having amazing weather. Not to hot, not to cold, it was perfect!” Lydia is a singer-song writer as well as a local radio personality.
As I passed by the Courthouse stage on my way to catch the Children’s Parade, I got to see the ending of the Folklore Dances from Mexico performed to a standing room only crowd.
The Children’s Parade is always a fun event every year! This year’s theme was Smart Snackers. The bell ringer this year was Miss Emma Taylor. She was followed by the Parade Grand Marshal, this year the Montgomery County Ag Extension Office’s Lunch Bunch. The City and County flags were up next. There were 3 golf carts full of the various parade and festival dignitaries. The various parade entries were made of of businesses, civic groups and community organizations.
Kacy Collins had driven all the way to Clarksville from Jackson, TN to attend the festival. and she had nothing but good things to say about it, “I think Rivers and Spires is wonderful. It’s well put together. It’s great for children and everybody of all ages. I think its an opportunity for all kinds of musicians. It’s just wonderful!”
I dropped in on the Aspire to Stardom Talent Competition at the Customs House Museum where some of the most talented young Clarksvillians were busy strutting their stuff. This year Skylar Cain came in 1st, then Tae’Shaona Matthews with 2nd and Backroad Brigade at 3rd.
Organizer Kelly Maselli said, “Wow! From the City of Clarksville being so accommodating, to the audition judges, to the performance judges, the Sponsors who made this happen, all the performers, the show itself where Skylar Cain came in 1st, then Tae’Shaona Matthews with 2nd and Backroad Brigade at 3rd…it was fabulous. Sold out crowd, photographers in droves, celebrity performers & Samantha Maselli Getter killing it as an emcee. It ended with a night out and watching the professional dancers clear the dance floor. And, nothing says loyalty & support like a great friend who hangs in there until the very end (Denise Davis Skidmore), friends who are always cheering us on and the great chef,Darrell Kizer. The people who made this successful are too many too name.”
Passing the courthouse stage once again I took a moment to listen to the 101st Airborne Division Rock Band as they kept the audience jamming!
In the Marketplace I listened to a Native American flutiest, watched a cooking demonstration, saw people trying some delicious fudge, as well as many booths displaying some interesting arts and crafts.
I caught a little bit from the Saints of Havana at the Public Square Stage before popping in to the volunteer canteen where I found Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan talking with the 2013 Miss River, Queen Sarah Gross and Miss River Teen Hope Parker. I then had the opportunity to do a quick photo shoot with them and their escorts from the B.O.S.S. Program Dalton Cavanagh and Jaron Eaton
At the Brewfest, attendees were able to get a sample of some of the many Craft beers available throughout our area, as well as watch a cooking show, or listen to music performed on the Brewfest Stage.
At 5:45pm, the Black Velvette Band took over the Courthouse Stage. Fronted by Anna Henderson and Tina Huff, they played a mix of songs from country rock to classic rock. Some of the songs they played were “Little White Church”, “Fastest Girl in Town”, “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” and others. Mid way through their set, Tina’s son Chris Huff brought his girlfriend, Hayley Downey, on stage and proposed.
It was about time for the 2013 Rivers and Spires festival Headliner Jo Dee Messina, so I started heading in that direction and got there just in time. She took the stage by storm and didn’t let up until she was finished with it. Messina played old favorites, as well as a song off of her upcoming album, Unmistakable: Love.
With over five million albums sold, nine #1 singles, two Grammy nominations and numerous accolades from both CMA and ACM, Jo Dee Messina is a force of nature. She is not shy in the music industry and her strength and spirit have landed her partnerships with the likes of Tim McGraw, Rascal Flats, and producer Byron Gallimore.
This Massachusetts native began performing at 16 with a work ethic she inherited from her single-parent mother. After moving to Nashville at 19, Messina was a regular in talent contests, the “Live at Libby” radio show and other local favorites. With Gallimore and McGraw producing, Messina hit it big with “Heads Carolina, Tails California” and only went up from there.
Even though the 2013 Rivers and Spires Festival is just barely over, I am already looking forward to next year!
Video – Safe Harbor
Video – Lydia Walker
Video – Black Velvette
Video – ExitRight
Bill Larson is is politically and socially active in the community. Bill is a member of the Friends of Dunbar Cave.
You can reach him via telephone at 931-249-0043 or via the email address below.
Topics101st Airborne Division Rock Band, 50th Tennessee Infantry, Anna Henderson, Aspire to Stardom, B.O.S.S. Program, Backroad Brigade, Bi-County Solid Waste Management, Bill roberts Thunder Road Automotive and Marine, Black Velvette, Brewfest, Children's Parade, Chris Huff, Clarksville Department of Electricity, Clarksville TN, Corvettes on the Cumberland, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation, Cutoms House Museum, Dalton Cavanagh, Dave Loos Jr, Daymar Institute, Emma Taylor, Family Fun Stage, Fort Campbell KY, Go Army Bike, Green Zone, Habitat for Humanity Restore, Hope Parker, Jackson Tennessee, Jaron Eaton, JoDee Messina, Kacy Collins, Kali Downey, Kelly Maselli, Kennedy Law Firm, Kids Zone, Kim McMillan, Leaf Chronicle, Little Mexico & Latin Folklore, Lydia Walker, Madison Street United Methodist Church, Madison Street United Methodist ChurchCreation Care Committee, Marketplace, Memory Lane Cruisers, Miss River Queen, Miss River Teen, Montgomery County 4H, Montgomery County Agricultural Extension Office, Montgomery County Animal Control, Montgomery County Animal Control Mobile Adoption Trailer, OCC, Orange County Chopper, Public Square Stage, Quilts of the Cumberland, Recycle Clarksville, Rivers and Spires Festival, Roxy Regional Theatre, Saints of Havana, Samantha Maselli, Sarah Gross, Skylar Cain, Stompin' in the Alley, Strawberry Alley, Sustainable Lifestyle, Tae'Shaona Matthews, Teen Zone, Tennessee Trails, The Food Initiative, The Friends of Dunbar Cave, The Leaf Chronicle, The Tabernacle, Tina huff, Toddler Town, USAA, Window World. Family Fun Zone, WJZM 1400 AM
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