Riverfest to present variety in musical lineup

Published 12:01 pm Thursday, December 16, 2010

Organizers of Vicksburg’s 24th annual Riverfest have announced a varied musical lineup for the city’s largest annual two-day spring festival.

“We have different genres for each night,” said 2011 Riverfest President Katrina Shirley. “We’ll have blues, jazz, R&B, country, rock. This year we’re trying to offer more entertainment, but keep costs down.”

She said organizers are bringing back two stages in hopes of pulling the crowds attracted during the festival’s heyday.

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“We think it will bring out more people and keep traffic moving,” Shirley said. “This event is important to Vicksburg. It’ll be good for our vendors, too. We would like to see 15,000 to 20,000 people — like when Riverfest was in its prime.”

Last year’s festival drew in nearly 3,000 people.

Rising country music star Brantley Gilbert, a Georgia native who fuses rock into his country sounds, will headline the first night, April 15.

Closing out the second night will be R&B and pop singer Anthony Walls and soul and blues artist Dr. Dee, a Centreville native who released his first album, “Dr. Dee’s World,” in 2009.

Walls, a native of Scotlandville, La., has opened for recording artists Tyrese and Mint Condition, and toured with The O’Jays, Keith Sweat and Jodeci.

Opening acts on Friday include local favorite The Chill, a classic rock n’ roll band, and local country newcomer, 17-year-old Michael Morgan.

Morgan has performed throughout the Southern region and has appeared on local and national television.

The Tip Tops, a Mobile-based R&B and Motown group, will return to Riverfest after a good performance in last year’s festival, Shirley said.

Vicksburg blues band Sounds Unlimited and Band Camp, a 1980s rock band, will play on Saturday.

The two stages will be along Washington Street at China Street and at South Street.

Advance tickets are $15 for one night or $25 for a weekend pass.

Tickets at the gate are $20 for one night and $35 for a weekend pass and won’t be available until after New Year.

Shirley said tickets are available at Paper Plus on Washington Street, but more locations and an online option will be available soon.

The 43nd annual Vicksburg-Warren County Riverfest Arts & Crafts Show has been scheduled for the Saturday of the festival weekend along Walnut, South and Crawford streets.

Free entertainment and vendors will be along Washington Street during both days of the festival.