Clarksville, TN Online: News, Opinion, Arts & Entertainment.


Rivers and Spires Festival reaches Crescendo with Jo Dee Messina Concert

 

Rivers and Spires FestivalClarksville, 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.

Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers waits to see JoDee Messina perform at the 2013 Rivers and Spires Festival

Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers waits to see JoDee Messina perform at the 2013 Rivers and Spires Festival

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.

A young lady gets to sit on the Go Army Bike in the USAA Military Appreciation area

A young lady gets to sit on the Go Army Bike in the USAA Military Appreciation area

One of the many dance groups that would be performing during the day

One of the many dance groups that would be performing during the day

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.

A young man looks at a potential pet as a Animal Control worker checks the id tag

A young man looks at a potential pet as a Animal Control worker checks the id tag

A young lady looks at a quilting machine at Quilts of the Cumberland

A young lady looks at a quilting machine at Quilts of the Cumberland

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.

Two women admire a planter built into a sink at a booth in the Green Zone

Two women admire a planter built into a sink at a booth in the Green Zone

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.

Dancers from Little Mexico & Latin Folklore perform at the Courthouse Stage

Dancers from Little Mexico & Latin Folklore perform at the Courthouse Stage

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.

The Kennedy Law Firm took first place in the Children's Parade

The Kennedy Law Firm took first place in the Children’s Parade

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!”

Aspire to Stardom Emcee Samantha Maselli introduces one of the contestants

Aspire to Stardom Emcee Samantha Maselli introduces one of the contestants

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!

The 101st Airborne Division Rock Band performing at the 2013 Rivers and Spires Festival

The 101st Airborne Division Rock Band performing at the 2013 Rivers and Spires Festival

A Native American Flutist plays at the 2013 Rivers and Spires Festival

A Native American Flutist plays at the 2013 Rivers and Spires Festival

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

Miss River Teen Hope Parker (left) and Miss River Queen Sarah Gross (right), along with their B.O.S.S. Program escorts  Jaron Eaton (right) and  Dalton Cavanagh (left)

Miss River Teen Hope Parker (left) and Miss River Queen Sarah Gross (right), along with their B.O.S.S. Program escorts Jaron Eaton (right) and Dalton Cavanagh (left)

 

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.

Chris Huff proposes to his girlfriend, Hayley Downey, on stage during Black Velvette's show.

Chris Huff proposes to his girlfriend, Hayley Downey, on stage during Black Velvette’s show.

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.

Jo Dee Messina, the 2013 Rivers and Spires Festival Headliner

Jo Dee Messina, the 2013 Rivers and Spires Festival Headliner

A young fan shows her devotion to Jo Dee Messina

A young fan shows her devotion to Jo Dee Messina

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.

A standing room only crowd on hand for Jo Dee Messina's Concert at the 2013 Rivers and Spires Festival

A standing room only crowd on hand for Jo Dee Messina’s Concert at the 2013 Rivers and Spires Festival

Messina’s newest album, “Unmistakable: Love” she only proves her staying power. Refocused and centered on what matters most, the relationships in her life, Jo Dee Messina is coming at song writing from a whole new angle. And her stellar performances prove, she has evolved and will continue to surprise fans and critics alike.

Even though the 2013 Rivers and Spires Festival is just barely over, I am already looking forward to next year!


Photo Gallery

Video – Safe Harbor

Video – Lydia Walker

Video – Black Velvette

Video – ExitRight


About Bill Larson

    Bill Larson

    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.

    Email: blarson@clarksvilleonline.com

Sections

News

Topics

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.


  • Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On YoutubeCheck Our FeedVisit Us On Instagram
  • Personal Controls

    Archives