Festival to feature musician Casi Joy
by Mary Rupert
Edwardsville Days, a two-day event, will kick off at 5 p.m. tonight, and will feature musician Casi Joy, a country pop artist from Nashville, in concert tonight around 9 p.m.
Regina Utter, executive director of the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville Chamber of Commerce, said she believes this concert will be the highlight of Edwardsville Days, scheduled April 29 and 30. The events are free and open to the public.
Events will take place at Edwardsville City Park, at 1200 Blake St., she said. People can take K-32 to 9th Street in Edwardsville. There will be signs directing them to the city park, or they can just follow the smell of the barbecue, Utter added.
Joy, tonight’s featured performer, was named one of the top 20 up-and-coming artists from Nashville, Tenn., Utter said. Originally from Smithville on the Missouri side of the Kansas City region, Joy will perform in an outdoor concert, rain or shine, Utter said.
Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, she said. Festival organizers are hoping for good weather, but in the event of a storm there is a nearby shelter.
Local and regional musicians will play in the hours leading up to the 9 p.m. concert, she said. The Unholstered Outlaws and County Road Crossers are scheduled to start the performances around 7 p.m.
The family festival has free activities for youth, including bounce houses geared toward kids under 12, she said. There will also be food vendors and craft vendors at the event.
A beer garden is scheduled to be open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday.
The mayor’s prayer breakfast, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, is scheduled in conjunction with Edwardsville Days, and will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Edwardsville Elementary School. Tickets are $10 for the breakfast.
On Saturday, there will be mouse races at 11:15 a.m. benefitting Edwardsville Elementary School, and a parade that starts at 10 a.m., she said.
Also scheduled for Saturday afternoon is the Edwardsville Idol competition, modeled after the American Idol program, where anyone can sing karaoke-style, she said.
A sanctioned barbecue contest will conclude the Saturday activities, Utter said. Teams will compete and awards will be given at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Utter said there were a lot of volunteers working on Edwardsville Days, an annual event. It was formerly called Autumnfest and held in the fall, but about four years ago was moved to the spring. It is the 28th annual Edwardsville festival.
Funding for the annual festival comes from Edwardsville city, and the event host is the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville Chamber of Commerce.