60th Fall Festival promises more to do this weekend

The Roanoke Fall Festival turns 60 this year, and festival chairman Dave Tucker says festival-goers can expect "more of the same."

By "more," he means "more."

"We've got more entertainment, more things going on," Tucker says. "There's a lot more going on in the entertainment tent."

There's a carnival, two parades, bands and entertainment for the kids, along with 13 food vendors, to name a few attractions.

"We do such a good job every year," Tucker says, that it's difficult to come up with something over the top for the festival's 60th year.

The 2013 Fall Festival kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 5, with non-stop action continuing until the festival's end on Saturday night, Sept. 7. Nearly all of the festival's events take place at Roanoke Park, and most are free.

"The reason I like it - well, other than I live here - if you go to other fairs, they're kind of scattered out," Tucker says. "This is contained in one location, almost everything's free, it's clean. It's just a nice family festival."

Opening night events on Thursday include a pet parade at 6 p.m. and music by an electric guitar duo at 7 p.m., along with carnival rides from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Registration for the pet parade starts at 5:30 p.m. at the park entrance, and the parade steps off at 6 p.m.
toward the tennis courts where awards will be presented. All pets must be leashed, crated or otherwise restrained, and no large hooved animals are allowed.
Children younger than 5 must be accompanied by an adult.

Carnival rides continue on Friday evening. The festival's official opening ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. on Main Street, followed by the Ageless Iron tractor parade at 6:10 p.m. rolling down Main Street to the park. The night belongs to the tractors, with the larger versions competing in the NTPA Tractor Pull at 7 p.m.

Other Friday events include a paintball shooting gallery, softball game, corn bag toss tourney and balloon sculpting. Evening entertainment will be provided by Shade 'N' Shannon, performing a tribute to Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash at 6 p.m., and country music by Scott Greeson & The Trouble With Monday Band at 9 p.m.

A downtown Farmer's Market from 8 a.m. to noon gets things rolling on Saturday. Back at the park, children's games, a chainsaw carving demonstration, food, crafts and a carnival rides will take place throughout the morning.

A Cubmobile soap box derby race starts at 9:30 a.m. at Main and Fifth streets. The race has been held in Roanoke in the past, but not as part of the festival.
Tucker says the race was drawn into the festival this year in place of the previous running events.

Featured events on Saturday include the Fall Festival parade down Main Street, beginning at 3 p.m.; a cake auction at 6 p.m.; and the demolition derby, starting at 7 p.m.

Entertainment on Saturday includes a barbershop quartet at noon, the Silly Safaris live animal show at 5 p.m., country music by the J Taylors at 8 p.m. and tunes by Urban Legend at 9 p.m.

A complete schedule for the Roanoke Fall Festival appears in today's issue of The TAB.