Cowpea Festival readies talented musical lineup

Posted 9/5/18

A variety of country music will lead up to the performance of Craig Wayne Boyd — Season 7 winner of "The Voice" — as Saturday's headliner for the seventh annual International Cowpea Festival and …

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Cowpea Festival readies talented musical lineup


A variety of country music will lead up to the performance of Craig Wayne Boyd — Season 7 winner of "The Voice" — as Saturday's headliner for the seventh annual International Cowpea Festival and Cook-off presented by Bush Brothers & Company.

The popular celebration will be held in Charleston Park.

The festival kicks off at 10 a.m. with activities throughout the day. Leading up to Boyd’s performance, live music begins at 11 a.m., with a full lineup slated for the day, beginning with the old-time country sounds of Uncle Hershel’s Favorite. Then, Cotter Hill will perform his fresh new country sounds that just earned him the “Nashville’s Next” title.  Cool Mule Revival is a bluegrass band featuring what has been described as "amazing" musicianship. Monday Night Social offers an alternative country sound, including their song set to be featured on CMT. And Just Us Bluegrass is a longtime regional favorite with a faithful following of their bluegrass and country music. 

“We have a great list of talented bands from around the region that will most certainly be a treat leading up to a superstar of NBC’s 'The Voice,' Craig Wayne Boyd,” said Melissa Woody, festival co-chair and vice president for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce Tourism Development. 

CWB will take the stage at 6 p.m. for this free concert. The headliner show is sponsored by the Chamber and the Tennessee Arts Commission. Organizers say festival-goers should bring chairs and plan to stay all day to enjoy activities for every age, great festival food from more than a dozen food vendors and the Whirlpool Cowpea Cook-off.

The cook-off features professional chefs preparing recipes using a variety of cowpeas from Bush Brothers. Festival-goers who purchase a $5 souvenir spatula can taste the culinary creations and vote for their favorite. Tasting will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. Spatulas are sold before the event at the Chamber of Commerce or at the event on festival day. 

This “harvest festival with the funny name” also features storytelling and a family fun field with games, air toys and a petting zoo. A character greeting will feature the “Princess and the Cowpea” for photo opportunities. The marketplace will offer handmade arts and crafts, fresh produce and booths featuring festival sponsors and heritage information telling Charleston’s significant history. Food vendors will have popular festival food favorites available for purchase. Visit the festival website for more details. 

With growing attendance, organizers say that parking is top of mind. Thanks to Resolute Forest Products (formerly known as Bowater), a shuttle parking lot will be available across the bridge in Calhoun. Parking is still $5 a car load and the free shuttles will run continuously thanks to church buses from Calhoun Baptist Church and Council Baptist Church. Once parking near the park fills, follow signs and directions from attendants to the shuttle lot. 

Proceeds from the festival fund the operations of the Hiwassee River Heritage Center, which opened in May 2013, and is located on Highway 11 in Charleston. The Heritage Center is currently closed for expansion and is set to reopen in December. 


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