Mark your calendars for Roots Fest on Hillsborough Street

Mark your calendars for Roots Fest on Hillsborough Street

Mark your calendars for Roots Fest on Hillsborough Street in September. The new event will celebrate North Carolina arts and music.

Above, a chalk mural at Live & Local: Spring Fest in April 2017. Photo courtesy of Brantley Atkinson.

This story was written by Emily Duckett, a communications intern for Live It Up! Hillsborough Street.

Mark your calendars for Live & Local: Roots Fest, a free street festival on Hillsborough Street on Saturday, Sept. 23. Roots Fest, a brand-new event, celebrates the roots of North Carolina music and art through a diverse music lineup, dozens of local artists and local craft beer.

“This might be our most eclectic festival to-date. The music performances will range from bluegrass to rock to Caribbean dance tunes,” said David Dean, director of programs for Live It Up! Hillsborough Street, which is hosting the event.

The music

The event will be headlined by Ike Stubblefield, a Hammond B3 organ master who has performed and recorded with Eric Clapton, Quincy Jones, and Al Green, among many others. For the event, Stubblefield is bringing together a group of friends, including guitarist Gibb Droll (the guitarist for Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers), drummer Yonrico Scott (formerly with the Derek Trucks Band), and saxophonist Freddy V (who plays with the Average White Band). 

“You may not know Ike’s name, but I guarantee you know his playing,” Dean said. “Musicians don’t play with the likes of Cee Lo Green, Ike and Tina Turner, and Marvin Gaye if they don’t have the chops.”

Additional featured performers include a large Caribbean dance orchestra, the African-American Dance Ensemble, and Greg Humphreys Electric Trio. Cooper Alan, a Winston-Salem native, will bring his modern country sounds to the Pogue Street stage, and the Maggie Valley Band will headline that stage with their unique take on Appalachian music.

A bluegrass band plays during Live & Local: Spring Fest in April 2017. Photo courtesy of Brantley Atkinson.

The arts

More into art? Roots Fest has plenty for you. Dozens of local artists will be on hand demonstrating their craft and selling their wares. There will also be several community art projects, such as street chalk art and a unique weaving project on one of the pedestrian construction tunnels.

The dogs

You read that right: Your furry friends can come, too! Students from the N.C. State College of Veterinary Medicine will host dog games and judging contests throughout the day, and water stations for humans and their pets will be found throughout the event. If you do not currently have a dog of your own, don’t worry: Cause for Paws will host a pet adoption event in the middle of Roots Fest.

In past years, Live It Up! Hillsborough hosted a similar event that focused entirely on the rich bluegrass scene in North Carolina. That event was so popular that Live It Up! decided to expand the event. The new Roots Fest will highlight all kinds of North Carolina art and music (including bluegrass).

“Hopefully, the community knows they can count on us to deliver a quality event with top notch musicians,” Dean said. 

You can find more information about Roots Fest here.

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