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Stock up on music, food and fun at RiverStock Saturday

NATCHEZ — Whether members of the Miss-Lou community are looking for ice cream sandwich samples or a musical taste of “Strawberry Wine,” the organizers of RiverStock 2014 are hoping they’ll show up in force.

RiverStock — a day-long festival that will include a 5K fun run, carnival rides, a pet show, a food eating contest, a flea market, food vendors and musical entertainment — is the evolution of The Markets’ annual food show, Markets Operations Manager Barry Loy said.

“We have done the food show for 15 years, and just like anything else, you want to keep evolving and making it better,” he said. “We wanted to make it a more family-oriented event, and we needed to move from a convention center format to a day-long festival to do that.”

The food show will still be a key part of the festival, Loy said, with food vendor booths set up on the grounds of the esplanade area at the corner of Broadway and High streets.

Headlining the afternoon musical acts will be country singer Deana Carter, known for such hits as “Did I Shave My Legs for This?” and “Strawberry Wine.”

Other acts include Steve Azar, Erik Dylan, Debbie Landry and Pocket Change.

In addition to the food, music and carnival rides, the festival will include other events for the community as well.

Team Tatas Relay for Life leader Meg Freeman said Team Tatas would work the 5K run, and will receive a portion of the proceeds from those who enter.

The pet show will also benefit the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society.

Categories in the pet show for dogs include cutest puppy, best smile, best tail wag, best costume, best posed, best action or truck, owner lookalike, ugliest and Mr. and Miss RiverStock.

Entry fees are $10 per category.

Photo contest categories for the pet show include cutest cat, best costume and sweetest shot. Entry fees for the photo categories are $5 per photo.

The flea market will likewise raise funds for Leadership Natchez.

“We have always tried to give back to the community, and we felt like with a tie-in with these other organizations, we could get more people involved and get more people out to the event and help more people,” Loy said.

The day events — from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — have no cost beyond the admission at the gate, which is free to those under 4, $5 for those aged 5-12 and $10 for those age 13 and older.

Admission for the festival and concert is $20 for those 13 and older, while those ages 5-12 will be charged $5 and children 4 and younger will be free.

Tickets for the concert are available at the Natchez Visitor’s Reception Center.

For more information or to get 5K Fun Run registration forms, visit riverstockfest.com.