Last year, organizers of the inaugural River Fog Festival in Williamsburg only expected to have about 500 attendees, but were pleasantly surprised when over 1,000 people attended the event. So many people attended the festival that craft beer and food vendors sold out.
“I think everybody was surprised by how many people turned out last year,” noted Angelika Lewis-Bowling, one of the festival organizers.
This year organizers are hoping for at least 1,000 attendees as the festival returns Saturday highlighting regional arts, music, food and beverage within the Southeastern Kentucky region.
Don’t worry. There are more food and craft beer vendors lined up this year than there were last year.
The Second Annual River Fog Festival will take place Saturday from 4 – 10 p.m. in the green space at the corner of Third and Main streets in Williamsburg.
“Bring your own chairs and expect to have a good time,” Lewis-Bowling said.
Jane Graham, another festival organizer, added that this is a family friendly event with activities for the children.
It is also a dog friendly event with a section roped off with a dog watering area.
“There will be a watering section for the animals. If you bring your dogs be sure to bring you doggie bags to pick-up and your leash,” Lewis-Bowling added.
Jordan Allen and The Bellwethers, and Larah Helayne will be among the artists performing.
Jordan Allen and The Bellwethers is a local band out of Corbin, and Helayne is out of Hazard.
Lexington-based Joslyn & The Sweet Compression will headline the event.
After growing up singing in the church choir, Joslyn Hampton cultivated her powerful and dynamic voice in college stage productions. She teamed with her stepfather Marty Charters, a touring guitarist who has shared the stage with legends such as Junior Wells and Van Morrison, to compose a captivating set of tunes and assemble an ace band, according to the River Fog Festival’s Facebook page.
Joslyn & The Sweet Compression have become a headlining favorite at regional clubs and music festivals, and are poised to engage fans across the country with their hook-filled mix of funk and soul, the Facebook page stated.
The group recently performed at the Railbird Festival on the grounds at Keeneland in Lexington.
“We are real excited about that,” Lewis-Bowling said. “Joslyn & The Sweet Compression is a little bit different flavor for Whitley County than what they are used to. I am glad that we are adding that piece.”
The festival is being organized by Why Whitley, a group that formed in 2018 to promote community development and help instill a sense of community pride within local residents.
Lewis-Bowling noted that all the vendors from last year’s festival are returning again, including Jarfly Brewing and Pivot Brewing.
“They had such a good time that they signed up immediately this year. Last year they may have been a little bit apprehensive to come, and didn’t know what to expect because this was our first festival as such selling beer. Everyone was real excited to come back,” Lewis-Bowling said.
West Sixth Brewing out of Lexington will also be selling beer at this year’s festival.
Faulkner Bent Farm, the Whitley County Cattlemen’s Association, and Handlebar Nate’s will all be selling food at Saturday’s event.
Organizers will also be offering some merchandise for sell this year, including T-shirts and stickers.
Graham noted that she has only heard positive comments about last year’s festival.
“We are just trying to make it bigger and better,” Graham added about this year’s festival.
The City of Williamsburg, Whitley County Tourism, WEZJ and Community Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK) are all sponsoring the festival.