It’s time for the Foothills Festival.
Plans for this year’s event were finalized this week, and organizers say now all that’s missing are the thousands of people they’re hoping to see in downtown Jasper on Saturday, Sept. 7.
“This is an opportunity to bring our community together for a fun day with friends and family, but also it brings excitement to the city,” said Jennifer Williams Smith, the District 4 member of the Jasper City Council and one of many who have helped organize the festival. ‘This is a great opportunity to have people from outside Jasper to come into our community and see downtown alive and moving. It’s a great chance for people to see that Jasper is a great place.”
Four local business that will serve as sponsors for the festival are Scott Crump Toyota Scion; Byars and Associates; Nelson, Bryan and Jones Attorneys at Law; and Honda of Jasper and Hyundai of Jasper.
Headlining the free, one-day festival is former ‘American Idol’ runner-up Bo Bice and Brian Howe, former lead singer of classic rock band Bad Company.
The day kicks off at 11:30 a.m. with the Corner High School Theater Academy presenting a 1960’s Cabaret, with music from Motown to the Beatles.
From 1 until 2 p.m., southern bluegrass band Rollin’ in the Hay will perform.
From 2:30 until 3:30 p.m., Jasper’s own Copperline, a four-piece country band, will perform.
At 4 p.m., Within Reason, a Birmingham-based rock band, will take the stage. The band, which features a fusion of several musical genres, was among those to walk the red carpet at this year’s Grammy Awards.
From 5 until 6 p.m., a musical ensemble of local children will perform.
At 6:30 p.m., Lynam, another Birmingham-based rock band, will be on stage.
Bice will take the stage from 8 until 9 p.m., followed at 9:30 by Howe.
Aside from the music, there’s going to be lots of other family-friendly events going on throughout the day.
A children’s theater stage, which will be located on the courthouse square and headed up by Eddie Brown, will be a second stage with local talent performing between music sets. The theme for the children’s stage will be “Pirates and Pirate Ships,” with activities for kids from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
There’s also going to be a children’s play area along Third Avenue near the Jonathan Sapp Law Firm with inflatable slides and a moon walk and obstacle course. A petting zoo with both farm and exotic animals will be open for the kids, too. Those activities will open at 11 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
For the adults, festival organizers have announced that a beer garden will be open throughout the day. It will be located in the parking lot at the corner of Third Avenue and 19th Street.
Anyone wishing to visit the beer garden must present ID and remain in the fenced-in area while drinking.
No one will be allowed to leave the area with drinks, and Jasper police will be on-site to provide security and ensure that no underage drinking occurs. The beer garden will operate much like a restaurant that serves alcohol, Smith said.
Twenty-five nonprofit organizations have signed up to have booths at the festival. They will be located along Third Avenue and include a variety of nonprofits such as church groups and ministries, outreach groups and civic clubs.
“It’s a great way to find out about the services that are offered in the county,” Smith said.
On Second Avenue, a large number of arts and craft vendors and business vendors will have booths open with items for sale.
A number of food vendors will be open throughout the day and range from ice cream vendors to barbecue to burgers and hot dogs to funnel cakes. Downtown restaurants Los Reyes and Black Rock Bistro will also be open.
Jenny Sayles, who is one of the festival’s organizers, said any nonprofit or arts and craft vendor wishing to participate still has time to register.
On Friday, Sept. 6, streets in downtown Jasper will close at 5 p.m., and local bands will perform from 6:30 until 10 p.m. as a warm-up to Saturday’s activities.
A number of food vendors and craft vendors will be open Friday, too.
“It’s kind of a way for anybody who wants to come down and get warmed up for Saturday’s events,” said Joe Matthews, the public works director for the city.
City workers will close 19th Street between Third and Fourth avenues early Friday morning in order to construct the stage for Saturday’s concerts.
Event organizers said Foothills Festival T-shirts will be available for sale at the festival.
Anyone who would like to volunteer to work at the Foothills Festival is encouraged to call Jenny Sayles at (205) 221-8529.