The City of Clinton and Main Street Clinton will present its annual Rhythm on the Rails festival next weekend, exactly a month after the BBQ festival had originally been planned before COVID-19 disrupted public events.
While most of the musical acts remained as planned, the addition of Mother’s Finest to the line-up is new as of Wednesday evening. Clinton City Council gave approval for the festival to occur as long as it was approved by the state.
“We got a letter Monday from the South Carolina Department of Commerce giving permission to hold the festival and explaining it’s up to local law enforcement to enforce social distancing,” said Main Street Clinton Manager Adele Alducin. “Then we got word late afternoon Wednesday that Mother’s Finest is coming Saturday for the 7:30 p.m. spot.”
The festival will again combine barbecue competitions with music, amusement rides and activities for families in a more spacious event area to make the entire festi- val safer during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have expanded our footprint so we can adhere to the social distancing guide- lines,” Alducin said. “There will be a blank space between each vendor and between each (barbecue) competitor, and they will be staggered across from each other to give plenty of space to move around.”
While barbecue teams will arrive Friday morning to their new location at Vance Park, the music on the West Main Stage will begin at 5 p,m. to officially open the show with the festival’s “Women Rock the Rails” Friday night program, beginning at 5 p.m. with 13-year-old Griffin Faith from Greenville. She will be followed by Brandi Colti at 6 p.m. and the Anna Lee Band at 7:30 p.m.
More music and rides and activities will take place all day Saturday, culminating with a fireworks show which will follow the Mother’s Finest performance. The fireworks will best be viewed from downtown Clinton, Alducin said.
While the music and fireworks is free, arm bands can be purchased for amusement rides during the day. Bands can be purchased for $7 for Friday evening, and $15 for Saturday.
Saturday events begin at 10 a.m. with music on the stage and the King BMX Bike Show out of Charlotte, and the shows at 11 a.m., and , 2 and 4 p.m., have been moved to North Broad Street in front of the M.S. Bailey Municipal Building.
“There is a lot more space there for people to spread out and enjoy the show,” Alducin said and it’s been a big favorite since they first came two years ago.”
Food vendors will include barbecue and a wide range of other foods, including a new Cajun food truck, Alducin said. The organizers are expecting between 20 and 30 competitive teams.
“We’re excited to finally get approval and the long-range forecast shows the weather might be a little cooler by then,” Alducin said. “And of course we are excited to have a band like Mother’s Finest here.”