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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Songs in the wind

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wartrace Mayor Ron Stacy surveys the remains of the Musicfest stage, torn apart by high winds early Thursday morning.
(T-G Photo by Mary Reeves) [Order this photo]
Come high winds or high water -- the show will go on.

That's the message from Wartrace Mayor Ron Stacy who woke up Thursday morning to find a little glitch in his plans for the Wartrace Musicfest scheduled for next weekend at the horse show grounds.

The Musicfest stage was gone.

The high winds that ripped across Bedford County just after midnight Thursday left trees and electrical lines down everywhere, but Wartrace was especially hard hit. The trees didn't just fall -- they fell on buildings. The winds didn't just knock down trees, they shredded roofs -- including the metal roof of the town's gymnasium -- mangled lawn furniture and disassembled the wooden stage that has served as Musicfest's main venue for many years.

Across the street from the horse show grounds. Wartrace resident Chris Morris didn't hear the stage blown down, but he did hear the giant crack of a tree limb breaking off in his own front yard.

The metal roof on the Wartrace gymnasium also suffered damage during the windstorm late Wednesday and early Thursday.
(T-G Photo by Mary Reeves)
"I thought it was going to come through the house," he said. "I thought it was a tornado but my daughter thinks it was just straight line winds."

The roof and back wall of the Musicfest stage were blown off and left yards away, crumpling the chain link fence they landed on. The side walls of the stage were buckled and bent and only the floor of the stage itself seemed untouched.

"We'll probably have to put a tent over it and tear down the rest," said Stacy. "Who knows?"

Musicfest is scheduled for June 3 and 4 -- next Friday and Saturday. While jam sessions and competitions go on throughout the town, the main location has always been the main stage.

"We'll put up a tent if that's what it takes," said the mayor.

Alderman Ed Simpson was a little more optimistic.

"I think the guys'll be out here rebuilding it this afternoon," he said Thursday morning. "Everything's looking real good for Musicfest this year and this isn't going to stop us."

The Musicfest format has changed this year, returning to a competition-based series of performances rather than featuring one or two big-name artists. There will be contests in bluegrass, dancing, picking, fiddling ... just about any classic country art form you can think of.

Regular entertainers scheduled include The Rigney Family Band, The Road Crew, Carolyn Martin, Kacey Smith, Planet Rockers, the McKenzie-Fox band, 2 Country 4 Nashville and the Nashville Traditions radio show. The tickets this year are $5 per day and the events begin at 10 a.m. -- rain, shine or high winds.

For more information about Musicfest, visit wartracemusicfest.org.