Morganton’s favorite summer music festival is back this year with an all-new format and lineup designed to showcase talent and entertainment across a variety of genres.

The Red, White and Bluegrass Festival has been rebranded as the Red, White and Blue Festival – but bluegrass lovers need not fret, there will be plenty of banjo picking, guitar strumming and mandolin jams to satisfy even the most diehard bluegrass fan.

The Red, White and Blue Festival kicks off on Thursday, July 4, at 3 p.m. with free admission, live jazz and beach music, festival food fare, craft vendors, and a fireworks show to cap off the day. Festival-goers will enjoy reduced ticket prices for the festivities on July 5 and 6, as a daily pass this year only costs $15.

Your daily pass grants you entry to Catawba Meadows Park, where the Red, White and Blue Festival is held, as the festival has been expanded and will take place throughout the park. On July 5 and 6 there will be entertainment on two different stages, and free activities throughout the park including inflatables for children, volleyball games, hay rides, train rides, corn hole games, access to the Beanstalk playground and more. For the first time in festival history, festival-goers will be able to purchase alcohol on festival grounds on July 5 and 6.

“We updated the format of the festival to give local and regional attendees a wider variety of entertainment options and to appeal to a larger audience,” said City of Morganton Parks and Recreation Director Rob Winkler. “We are remaining true to the Red, White and Blue Festival’s bluegrass roots, while expanding our entertainment options to showcase a variety of talents that everyone can enjoy.”

Friday, July 5, is the Red, White and Blue Festival’s dedicated bluegrass music day, with the main stage lineup featuring The Jacktown Ramblers, Newtown, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, a performance by Morganton’s own Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) Program, The Malpass Brothers, and Junior Sisk. On the second stage, located at the Catawba Meadows Park shelter area, you will be able to enjoy music from Red Clay Revival, the Freewheelin Mamas, and Noah Proudfoot & the Botanicals Band. The day will come to an end with another fireworks show for festival-goers to enjoy.

Saturday, July 6, will feature a multitude of musicians across a berth of genres. The day will kick off at 1 p.m. with Billy James on the main stage, with music from the City Rhythm Jazz Band, Maya, a JAM Program performance, Gotcha Groove and Love Canon to follow. The day will be headlined by The Cleverlys, who will take the main stage at 9 p.m. Bluegrass acts will be on the second stage throughout the day, with Morganton’s own Butterbeans Band and The Neighbors Band playing their tunes. You can catch a preview of Love Canon on the second stage at 1 p.m. before they take the main stage at 7:30 p.m.

“We are hoping to see some new faces at this year’s Red, White and Blue Festival, and that was our goal with booking talent across a multitude of genres,” Winkler said. “We want families to come to the festival, throw a blanket out, get comfortable and enjoy all kinds of music throughout the day.”

Early bird tickets for the festival are on sale now at www.redwhiteandbluefest.org. A full event pass that gets you access to both days of the festival’s jam-packed lineup is only $25 if purchased before May 15. A reserved seating pass is only $40 if purchased before the same date. When you purchase a full event pass or a reserved seating pass, a camping pass is included with your purchase. Otherwise, to purchase a camping pass separately, the cost is $10. Children two years old and under get into the festival for free.

Keep your eyes on the Red, White and Blue Festival’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RedWhiteandBlueFestival/ for previews of music from all the bands and more details on the event.

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