SOUTH FORK—The 13th Annual Rhythms on the Rio kicked off last weekend in South Fork and brought more than 1,000 people to the area for great music, delicious food and fun times. The festival began Friday, Aug. 3 with spectators from around the U.S. gathering for bands like Charley Wheeler, Elder Grown and DumpstaPhunk. Festival-goers danced the night away and set the stage for a weekend of family fun.
The South Fork Music Association (SFMA) prepared a festival to match the previous 12 years, bringing in some of the best bands from around the globe that offered unique and family friendly folk, bluegrass and funk music to the attending crowds. Over 20 vendors set up shop throughout the area offering tie-dyed clothes, jewelry, homemade gifts and much more giving festival-goers a chance to shop while enjoying the music and activities, such as cornhole and frisbee golf.
Saturday bloomed bright and fresh after a rain storm Friday night that did nothing to dampen the spirits of those who attended. The day started off with music by the Shaky Hand String Band, Liver Down the River and The Giving Tree while guests played in the Rio Grande, and children enjoyed activities like a play tunnel and a tree house made in a Cottonwood Tree near the river that was adorned with flashing lights and offered a hidden place to climb.
Another addition to the festival, made by a local artist, gave people something unique to enjoy. Three huge dreamcatchers were placed on the north side of the festival grounds hanging from large wooden poles and offered guests a chance to write down their dreams on slips of brightly colored fabric and hang them on long braided rope in hopes of a dream come true. Children could be seen dancing around the dreamcatchers throughout the entire weekend, weaving in and out of the adorned ropes with dreams written on the strips of fabric.
Saturday night brought the largest crowd with over 1,000 people in attendance for bands like Vince Herman, Drew Emmitt, Andy Thorn, Jeff Austin Band and ending with Keller Williams’ PettyGrass as the headliner. Intermittent rain came and went throughout the evening while crowds continued to dance the night away.
Representatives from SFMA wanted to say thank you to all of those who helped make this year’s festival a huge success, stating, “From all of us at the South Fork Music Association to all who attended this year’s fest, we are singing thank you, for a real good time.”
Plans for next year are underway with hopes of bringing even more to the South Fork area. SFMA will be announcing their plans for the funding that was raised this year in the next few weeks.