The free festival – which attracted close to 10,000 visitors last year – showcases and celebrates Bristol’s West End community, its merchants, and residents. It offers a wide variety of music and dance performances, crafts, food, skateboard and basketball tournaments, car show and a pie-eating contest.
Additionally, there will be a multitude of kids’ activities, including an expanded “Kid’s Zone” presented by Imagine Nation Early Learning Center, The Bridge Community Church and the local NAACP chapter. Admission and parking are free, and shuttle buses running from the Dollar General front parking lot to the Park also are free.
Held throughout Rockwell Park from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, the Festival features many local restaurants and food vendors, crafts and local organizations.
There will be a Classic Car Show presented by The Bristol Auto Club, and a wide variety of musical acts certain to appeal to listeners of all ages and interests.
This year’s festival also will feature an interactive “distracted driving simulator” presented by Allstate Insurance. The simulator is part of a traveling safety exhibit Allstate is presenting across the country this year.
The AAU Basketball Tournament is being held at Bracket and Rockwell Parks, with the finals at Rockwell.
The skateboard competition is being sponsored by Biker’s Edge, and the pie-eating contest, with separate categories for adults and children, is being sponsored by Harvest Bakery.
Musicians will perform acoustically at the Park gazebo, and the Musicians will perform acoustically at the Park gazebo, and the main stage will feature well-known local and regional artists. Styles will include alternative and country, blues, folk, indie rock and local dance troupes.
Musical artists include Cartwheel, The Bridge Community Church Choir, Wolf Tone, Get Up and Dance, Brand New Karma, Woof, Jason Gerrish, GypsyJo, Brenda Krosnicki, Inner Groove,
Voices from Heaven, and G Rockwell and the Still River Ramblers. G Rockwell is a 15-year- old guitar and banjo player with a style fusing bluegrass and rock; he also performed at the past two Festivals.
A raffle drawing will be held on the day of the Festival. Raffle entries are free, but can only be completed and submitted at Rockwell Park on August 19 th. Winners don’t have to be present for the drawing, held late in the day.
Many local sponsors have stepped up to support the 2017 Festival. Major sponsors include Thomaston Savings Bank, Bristol Hospital, Barnes Group Foundation, Liberty Bank, Wheeler Clinic, the Bristol Republican Town Committee, Hartford HealthCare, Bristol All Heart, By Carrier Construction, Minuteman Press, and Riverview Apartments.
If you’re interested in participating as a vendor, or have other services you’d like to offer at the Festival, contact David Hamelin at 860/583-3292.