MOUNT VERNON The 2007 Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival is being held in the streets of downtown Mount Vernon today through Sunday, marking the 20th year for the event. Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone will serve as the headline act.
Named for Dan Emmett, the author of "Dixie," the Festival's mission is celebrate the legacy of his life and career by presenting a varied format of performing and creative artists to festival goers.
The festival begins today with the homemades and trades show featuring local merchants, vendors and crafters displaying their wares. Entertainment began at lunchtime with the Mount Vernon Players Youth Showcase taking to the stage. The evening theme will be "Dance to the Oldies" featuring The Caffiends at 7 p.m. and then the Rock 'n Roll rocks the stage when Phil Dirt and the Dozers step on at 8:30 p.m.
Friday's theme is "Stars & Stripes and Pearly Lights." The evening features the All-Ohio State Fair Band. After the best musicians from this state stir a patriotic spirit among festival-goers, the youth of Knox County will take the stage to compete for the title of Knox Idol. The Emmett award will be presented to the audiences choice at evening's end. In addition, the three-day Fine Arts & Craft Fair opens featuring nationally known artisans, selected by a jury of their peers to assure the quality and originality of the arts products.
Saturday's Festival theme will be "Art, Bluegrass, Rock and More." The afternoon will feature area bluegrass performers and the traditional fiddle and guitar contests. Remembrances of the Civil War era will begin with a flag honor guard to raise the flag on the Square at 10 a.m.
An authentic Civil War era parade will step off from the Square at 10:30 a.m. leading to the birthplace home of Dan Emmett on the banks of the Kokosing River.
At 11 a.m., a Dan Emmett Dedication Ceremony will be held in honor of his contributions to American music. The renowned Saxton's Cornet Band will lead the parade and take part in these 19th century activities. A living history exhibit and demonstrations will fill the afternoon at Emmett's home. The day will close with a Civil War Era Ball.
Later Saturday afternoon, many local singers will share their vocal talent with the crowd.
Finally, at 9:30 p.m., Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone will grace the stage to entertain young and old alike. Preferred seating is available for a modest fee for those wishing guaranteed seating to this concert.
On Sunday, the festival will feature the theme "Arts, Crafts, Gospel & More." The cars will line the street to participate in the Antique and Classic Car Show. The registration for this event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The show is open to the general public from noon to 4 p.m. with an awards presentation for the favorites at 4 p.m. Line Drive and The Nomads will rock the square throughout the car show. Also featured on the South Stage will be the best in praise and pure gospel music during "Gospel Sunday."
Children activities this year will include a live visit from Nickelodeon's Fred Flintstone, a bouncing inflatable playland, kids arts fun tent, performances by dance students and karate kids, a lip sync contest and many other fun things.