Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Frying up a batch of musical entertainment at the Grease Festival

by Holly Hollman, Athens Grease Festival Publicity Chair

ATHENS – Come to downtown Athens in a toga, buy a fried bologna sandwich and enjoy an afternoon of musical entertainment at the inaugural Athens Grease Festival on Sept. 29.

The quirky festival is a celebration of all things fried and the Greek origin of the city’s name. There will be an Olympic-themed opening ceremony and games, fried food vendors who will sell items and compete in fried food contests, Southern craft vendors, children’s activities and six musical performances.

The music will start early afternoon. The performers are:
● Faron Davis
● The Charles and Grant Show
● Matt Prater
● Richie and Deemer
● Joey Thompson and Charles Williams
● The Park Band

The headliner group, The Park Band, plays across the Southeast. The group describes its sound as not fitting in any musical genre although listeners will hear Southern rock mixed with a little jam blues in between. The group’s debut album “Peace of Mind” was released in September 2009.

Grease Festival Chairwoman Christy Hubbard said the good food, good fun and good music should attract not only locals but visitors who are coming to the city early for the annual Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention at Athens State University.

“The Grease Festival is the weekend before Fiddlers, and we know many visitors come to Athens early to camp and have jam sessions prior to Fiddlers,” Hubbard said. “This will give them a day to enjoy music, food and crafts on The Square.”

The Spirit of Athens is sponsoring the Grease Festival as a fundraiser for downtown revitalization efforts.

“We are excited so many local and area performers are joining us for this event,” said SOA Director Trisha Black. “Our goal is to keep our historic downtown a vibrant attraction, and it is a beautiful location to come and enjoy a festival concert.”

Grease Bites

What: The inaugural Athens Grease Festival
When: Sept. 29 from 11 10 p.m.
Where: Downtown Athens
Cost: $5 or $4 for toga wearers; children 12 and under free.
Vendors: Various food and Southern craft vendors.
Activities: Quirky Olympic-themed opening ceremony and games; music; children’s events; and contest among vendors/downtown restaurants for best fried meat, fried vegetable, fried dessert and most outrageous.
Recycling: Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful and the Athens Water/Wastewater Department are kicking off the citywide grease recycling program where residents can get containers to collect cooking grease and return it for recycling. Local farmers will buy the recycled grease to use as biodiesel fuel for their farm equipment. KALB will collect vendors’ cooking grease as well.

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