Riverfest a chance to see tomorrow’s stars today

Published 12:04 am Sunday, April 10, 2011

Riverfest’s annual entertainment lineup often resembles, in many ways, minor league baseball — tomorrow’s superstars today.

So in the list of this year’s 24th annual festival musical lineup few names will jump off the page as accomplished “stars.” But that certainly does not mean the entertainment will strike out.

In 2005, a popular, but not yet mega-superstar country singer named Dierks Bentley headlined the show. A month later, he released his second album and since has sold millions.

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His shows now are played in arenas as the headline act, but in 2005 he was still an “up-and-comer.”

Will this year’s up-and-comer be Brantley Gilbert? Already, he is established in the country world and might one day follow the paths of Bentley and others who gravitated from small-city street festivals to major tours. His Facebook page has more than 212,000 followers. Don’t miss the chance.

Entertainment, though a key component to any successful festival, certainly is not the only attraction at this year’s two-day street party. An arts and crafts fair and a flea market are planned, not to mention the delicious festival fare.

All involved in Riverfest are hoping, even praying, Mother Nature cooperates. Great weather brings out people who bring out money which they spend there. Unfortunately, weather is the one aspect over which festival organizers have no control.

Should the weather cooperate, however, Vicksburg again will use every reason it can to show itself off. As an added attraction throughout April, Tapestry: A Pilgrimage to Vicksburg will be showcasing the city’s history through the present. Combine Riverfest and Tapestry — it’s a big and full weekend.

Who knows? Again, maybe one of tomorrow’s stars will be strumming on the stages of downtown Vicksburg.