River Rat Festival coming to City Park

GALLIPOLIS — The Downtown Revitalization Project will be hosting a new event in Gallipolis City Park on Sept. 23 from noon to 11 p.m. in celebration of craft beers and music with its headline performance by Tyler Childers.

Childers, a native of Kentucky, is an acoustic artist who just released his debut album “Purgatory” Aug. 4. According to rollingstone.com, Childers’ album has been produced by Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson, an engineer who had worked with Johnny Cash. The website says Childers “melds a mountain howl scarred by the missteps of young adulthood with a stirring, locomotive country chug as well as a little bit of untouchable, ragged Kentucky soul.”

According to DRP members and colleagues Erin Buckley and Robbie Pugh, the event will serve alcohol and be family friendly.

“This is a focus on the music,” said Pugh. “There is alcohol at the event, but it’s more about the trade and the craft of the beer. It’s important that people know this is not a ‘get drunk’ fest. This is for people to come and experience locally made products and enjoy a show and hang out and have a good time.”

“It’s not supposed to be a raging party,” said Buckley. “We’ll have little cups if people want to sample some of the beers.”

Both said they anticipate food vendors to be available at the event as well as beer from breweries like Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery of Athens, Sixth Sense Brewing Company of Jackson, Fat Head’s Brewery of North Olmstead and Mad Tree Brewing of Cincinnati. Artisan vendors are anticipated to be present as well.

The pair thanked the City of Gallipolis for its support and said the park would be roped off and that those who would be drinking would only be allowed within the designated limits. Those found outside the boundaries could face an open container charge from area law enforcement.

“A lot of bigger communities are having events like this and we think it will do really well here,” said Pugh.

Those who are above and below the age of 21 will have wrist bands placed on them during the festival to distinguish who is of age and not. Because the event is 11 hours long, attendees will be able to leave and return to the event as long as they have their band.

Buckley said some extreme sport athletes will be putting on an exhibition show for attendees as well during the festival.

Other acts to headline the event include The Builders and Butchers, CAAMP, Hexnet of the Dell, Maggie, Swampfoot and Apollo Makes Fire.

Buckley and Pugh stressed tickets to the event are now available at $20 and will be raising to $40 starting Sept. 1. Tickets are available at www.riverratfestival.com. Individuals under the age of 10 get in free.

Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.

By Dean Wright