Kara Zahn, Event Planning Specialist for Clarksville Parks & Recreation, had the responsibility of hosting the annual Riverfest Art Experience, which kicks off Riverfest 2017.
Art is one of the three components that make up the annual Clarksville event billed as an art, music and culture festival, now in its 30th year. The Art Experience has undergone some changes in recent years, but it is bigger and better than ever.
About 200 people were in attendance to see the artwork and also the winners of this year’s 52-Hour Film Festival. Art has been a featured part of the festival for the last 20 years. The combined show at Wilma Rudolph Event Center on Thursday night makes for a nice prelude to the weekend of events along the riverfront.
Cool temperatures and great music on two stages made Friday a success. By Saturday, thanks to perfect fall-like weather, Parks & Rec’s Robert Rayburn was feeling confident that this would be one of the busiest Riverfests of recent years.
Rayburn said that many people felt that based on its location in McGregor Park, growing the event would be difficult. “I think the success of this weekend shows that we can do more,” he said. “We want this event to keep growing and improving.”
Changes were made, doing away with the old ticket system that had people standing in long lines. Vendors and festival-goers were very pleased with the easier, faster access to food and services. Guests and organizers were also pleased by the presence of the USS LST 325, which created a lot of excitement.
Dozens of musical acts kept the crowds entertained throughout the weekend. Several genres of music were represented, and this year’s headliner Chris Janson delivered an electric performance to close the show Saturday night.
Kids and parents were not disappointed with this year’s family zone either. The area was filled with games and activities including a rock wall, lots of inflatables, zombie hunting, princesses, and of course, face painting for the little ones.