Greenbrier's third annual BrierFest kicks off officially Friday night and also features a sneak peak of its carnival rides Thursday evening.
The festival was once a popular, annual event in Greenbrier but disbanded for nearly 20 years before local leaders revived the event in 2016.
The event, presented and organized by city officials, includes a packed music schedule, a variety of carnival eats and vendor booths, a Kidz Zone, a car show, carnival rides, a talent show, a pageant and more.
"We are so excited about this year's festival," Vice-Chairman of the BrierFest Committee Dustin Chapman said. "We have fought bad weather for the last two years, but we are expecting better luck this year so more guests can enjoy our great features."
Thursday night starts the fun as the event showcases a $20 armband night, allowing festivalgoers to hop on as many carnival rides as they can handle between 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Food trucks and more than 30 vendor booths featuring local businesses will be onsite Friday as the entertainment swings into full gear.
The festival is free to attend and live entertainment takes to the stage at 5 p.m. Friday at Greenbrier High School, located at 72 Green Valley Drive. In past years, the festival spanned for three days. However, the annual event was shortened for 2019 to allow more vendors to take part in the event and also to accommodate for the disrtict's graduation ceremony on Sunday.
Attendees can listen to eight separate musical performers during the festival this year.
"Our entertainment committee has carefully selected eight sets of emerging local entertainers to provide two very enjoyable nights of concerts. Heath Sanders and Barrett Baber are our two talented headliner artists," Chapman said. "We know that they always draw very big crowds at other venues, and they are well established as strong local favorites in our region. They are supported by big band southern rock sounds of Whistlin' Dixie (Friday night) and rich blues band Charlotte Taylor & Gypsy Rain (Saturday night)."
Friday's lineup includes:
Cameron Davis at 5 p.m.
Jesse Dean at 6:15 p.m.
Whistlin' Dixie at 7:30 p.m.
Heath Sanders at 9 p.m.
Saturday's lineup includes:
Double Dynamite at 5 p.m.
Midnight Express at 6:15 p.m.
Charlotte Taylor & Gympsy Rain at 7:30 p.m.
Barrett Baber at 9 p.m.
There is no fee to sit back and enjoy the live music at the festival. Those who plan to stick around for the concerts are encouraged to bring their own chairs because there will be limited bleacher seating available.
Parents are encouraged to bring their children to the Kidz Zone, which will have face painting artists to decorate young attendees' faces however they wish, along with a hula hooping station, petting zoo, train rides, bounce houses and other activities.
Organizers expect the larger crowds on Saturday because there will be more fetivities onsite, including the car show, which begins at 10 a.m., the Studmuffin search and a talent show as well as live entertainment.
Chapman said he is looking forward to the car show Saturday morning.
"We are always impressed with our car show entries," he said. "We have seen vintage car entries from as early as the 1930s in years past, but all makes, models, and years are welcomed. We will present original trophies hand made by Greenbrier students in 12 categories."
Those wishing to participate in the car show are not required to preregister. Registration fees are $25 and are due the day of. However, discounts are offered to active military members, first responders and also for those showcasing multiple vehicles.
BrierFest provides family-friendly activities throughout the weekend and also helps support the community.
"The festival is produced entirely as a joint effort between the Chamber of Commerce, City of Greenbrier, Greenbrier School District, commercial sponsors and local volunteers," Chapman said. "Proceeds raised from the festival are held in trust for scholarship awards given each year to Greenbrier High School students. Just as importantly, BrierFest provides the community an annual weekend of free, safe family fun and entertainment for all ages."
For more information about BrierFest 2019, visit www.brierfest.com.