WOUB Music Blog

Wild Turkey Festival Celebrates 30th Opening Night

Tyler Buchanan - Athens Messenger staff reporter

Updated Sat, May 3, 2014 10:33 am

Music from the main stage and classic festival food aromas filled downtown McArthur Thursday for the 30th opening night of the Wild Turkey Festival.

Dozens of street vendors, games and rides lined the midway, as visitors were treated to a warm, clear night in Vinton County.

Country artist Chris Higbee highlighted the night’s entertainment, with The Chase and festival mainstay Hayley Watson also performing.

The opening day took a celebratory and reflective mood, as organizers paid tribute to the festival’s 30th anniversary.

Kids made up a large portion of festival-goers on Thursday, as it was also Ride Matinee night. Discounted passes offering unlimited rides sold for $15. The passes will also be offered on Sunday.

Ride tickets are being sold individually for $1.50, 10 for $14 and 16 for $20.

The festival lasts throughout the weekend. Tonight will feature The Grand Parade at 6 p.m. with the queen’s crowning taking place soon after. KISS tribute band Mr. SPEED highlights the day’s entertainment, performing at 9 p.m.

Sunday will close out the festival with a car show at noon and a baby contest at 1 p.m. Rides are discounted Sunday through the $15 passes from noon until the fest closes at 5 p.m.


Slideshow: 2014 Wild Turkey Festival, Day One

Tyler Buchanan/Athens Messenger

Chris Higbee

Tyler Buchanan/Athens Messenger

Hayley Watson

Tyler Buchanan/Athens Messenger

The Chase Band

Tyler Buchanan/Athens Messenger

Riders enjoy a thrilling spin during opening day of the 2014 Wild Turkey Festival