In a year when the number of stages and performers has been slightly reduced, the festival is focusing on a "quality over quantity" approach, banking on the star power of headliners such as
"I am looking forward to seeing how the caliber of headliners we have this year impacts the crowds and overall sales," Sturgill said. "One thing is, we've never really had a big headliner on Friday night as we do this year, so I think
On the Tuesday afternoon before Celebration, Sturgill sat in her office entertaining visitor after visitor, each bearing their own last-minute preparations.
Final clothing designs for the Celebration King & Queen contest awaited her approval, interrupted regularly by the ringing of the office phone. Until the festival starts, there are always changes to be made -- even to performers on the Show Stage.
"We've not historically had a lot of opening acts, but it's getting more and more difficult to get headliners the quality of
Other acts performing at this Celebration include Led Zeppelin tribute Led Zepplica, R&B group Space Capone, Christian pop/rock band
One thing that will be different, however, is a simplification of the ticketing system for beer and wine drinks.
"This year, instead of having separate tickets for craft beer and the wine garden, there's just a single type of ticket," Sturgill said. "Each ticket is
Facilitating this change, all ticket and wristband booths at the festival have been fitted with credit or debit card readers for the first time. It's one less thing that Sturgill has to worry about, but she still isn't likely to catch many shows. The work of a director leaves little time for entertainment.
"The only one I watched a good portion of was Here Come the Mummies when they were on the Funfest Stage," she said. "I brought them here hoping everyone would understand what made them so special, and thankfully, they did.
"If I could watching anything this year though, it would definitely be Salt-n-Pepa."
Other than a few more unusual events, such as a free screening of "The Avengers" at
It sounds as if things this year have come together especially well, which leaves the producer feeling more confident than ever in the turnout and outcome. The proof will be seen walking the streets of downtown
"The weather is looking good with only a slight chance of rain, so it could be a perfect weekend," she said. "We've dealt with some of the challenges of our first few years and are feeling good.
"Things are going really smoothly -- I hope I'm not jinxing it by saying that."
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