Stomp in the streets at the Lebanon Country Music Festival.

By Julia Rivera

This year marks the fifth year of the country music festival. It was created by Historic Downtown Lebanon Inc. and the Lebanon Rotary Club as a way to raise money for stimulating activity in the historic downtown area and funding civic programs for local youths. The funds raised from the event are split between the two organizations and are given back to programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The Lebanon Rotary Club and Historic Downtown Lebanon Inc. are both nonprofit organizations that work to improve the community through various civic projects. In the past, the Lebanon Rotary’s projects have included offering academic scholarships, providing food for children in need, providing financial support to various children-related support agencies and providing dictionaries to all fourth-grade students. Historic Downtown Lebanon Inc.’s mission is to “promote the economic vitality of downtown Lebanon while preserving its historic character and charm.” Jo Wise, Main Street Lebanon executive director, says the festival is a key fundraiser for the two nonprofits that are working to improve the community.

This year the festival’s entertainment lineup will feature musical acts Holly Spears, The Hip Shakin Daddys, Haggard County, Jason Owens, Alexis Gomez, Ryan Broshear and 90 Proof Twang. In between sets you can enjoy food from a number of local vendors.

“We have a lot to offer. There’s craft vendors and shopping vendors, a mechanical bull and a kid’s zone. In the kid’s zone we’ve got some inflated games for the kids.We’ve got animal displays as well as face painting,” says Scott Brunka, Rotary event chairman.

In previous years, there have been a number of events for adults and children alike, such a Country Idol competition, however, this year the fair features three of the most popular events. Wise says, “The activities are geared toward things you would find at old-time country fairs.” The 4-H Club, which is America’s largest youth development organization according to its website, is bringing animals for kids to interact with during the day. Other activities include a pie-eating contest and a hog-calling contest.

A petting zoo may not be as appealing to adults as kids, which is why the festival includes a beer garden. Those who are of age are invited to relax and enjoy a cold one in the garden, which will include both domestic and craft beers.

Wise says, “It’s a fun family atmosphere with the beautiful backdrop of downtown Lebanon. Their money will go right back to the community which is always nice. So people can come out on a nice summer day have a cold beer, enjoy some good country music and they can even visit some shops that are downtown too.”

The festival will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 10, in downtown Lebanon.

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