Festival In The Park Returns To New Elmwood Park

A map details the location of Festival in the Park events.
A map details the location of Festival in the Park events.

38 Special, Montgomery Gentry, John Michael Montgomery and 1964 The Tribute to headline musical entertainment

Festival in the Park will kick off the summer on Memorial Day weekend bigger and better than ever in newly renovated Elmwood Park.

Celebrating its 45th year from May 23-25, Festival in the Park will feature five live concerts with national acts, more than 40 performances from regional and local bands, children’s performances, hands-on activities, arts and crafts, food, 5K and 10K races, a river flotilla race and more. Bank of America is the title sponsor.

The rejuvenated Elmwood Park features a new performance stage with upgraded viewing and sound, a new VIP area, handicapped access and seating, and a dedicated food area inside the performance venue along with new landscaping and park entrances.

“The new Elmwood Park is the perfect backdrop to enjoy one of the Roanoke Valley’s most beloved events,” said A.W. (Skip) Brown, president of Roanoke Festival in the Park, Inc., the non-profit organizer. “We’re excited to be back in our home with more activities than ever for people of all ages and a great lineup of entertainment. It is our goal to showcase the amazing new Elmwood Park and bring its performance venue to the national attention it deserves.”

“The City of Roanoke is proud of the new Elmwood Park and we’re pleased that Festival in the Park returns to its home this year,” said Roanoke City Manager Chris Morrill. “The Festival embodies the mission of Elmwood Park – to be a focal point for arts, culture and community.”

Music will be a focal point of this year’s Festival with five stages featuring local, regional and national acts.  New this year will be a stage in the plaza area near the gate.  This stage will feature high-energy shows while headliners get ready to take the stage. 

Over the years Festival in the Park has hosted more than 50 headlining, acclaimed national touring artists. This year’s Main Stage concerts include 38 Special, Montgomery Gentry, John Michael Montgomery and 1964 The Tribute. This year’s Festival will offer a Back Stage Experience package that will enable ticket holders to enter the venue in the afternoon and experience building a show, watch the sound check and possibly meet some of the artists.

Beyond the music, this year’s Festival features new attractions as well as old favorites.

The Clean Valley Council Great River Race will feature boats built completely from recycled material. The goal is just to get to the finish line without sinking.

Along Jefferson Street, children’s activities include a Big Wheels Race, balloon artists, face painters and caricaturists. “Children have always been an important focus of the Festival,” Brown says. “This year we will be featuring four areas that are for kids only. Our children’s hands-on activity area will feature guided activities for children to create, build, paint and more.”

Corporate sponsors will be conducting kit build activities regularly in an activity tent. The children’s performance stage will feature family friendly entertainment on Jefferson in front of the library.

The Fine Art and Craft show will be presented along Jefferson in front of the library and the Magnolia Allee (where the lily pad pools used to be) and extend toward Franklin Road.

Antique car and motorcycle shows also are planned on Saturday along Franklin Road.

New this year will be strolling musicians. “Our goal is to have music just about everywhere,” Brown says. “So after you have seen your favorite group on one of the five stages, you can enjoy live music as you walk to your next area.”

The Festival’s performing arts include music, dance and more on three stages. Franklin Road will be the home for local and regional rock bands with performances on the hour beginning at noon. For quiet music fans, the gazebo stage will feature acoustic performers in the area near the corner of Jefferson and Elm Avenue.

The many food options include some of Roanoke’s best known food trucks and return of many festival regulars.

A full list of events will be available online at www.roanokefestival.net with more details to come.