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Lonestar headlines Saturday music fest

The country music band Lonestar, left, will headline RiverStock 2015. Gates open at noon, with music kicking off at 1 p.m. Lonestar will perform at 8 p.m.

The country music band Lonestar, left, will headline RiverStock 2015. Gates open at noon, with music kicking off at 1 p.m. Lonestar will perform at 8 p.m.

NATCHEZ — Country music lovers should find paradise in Natchez this weekend when RiverStock 2015 brings a plethora of country recording artists here, including headliner Lonestar.

But you don’t have to be a fan of country music to have a good time at RiverStock. The event, in its second year, offers something for all ages and interests — from displays by regional artisans, food sampling, amusement rides for children, a 5K Hoop Skirt Fun Run and two NASCAR simulators, even a hot dog eating contest.

“We have a great line up of musicians,” said Margaret Perkins, a partner in Fusion Entertainment, which is producing RiverStock 2015.

“We were very fortunate to be able to book Lonestar, which is on its 20th anniversary tour,” she said. “They’ve had 10 No. 1 hits and sold more than 10 million albums. They are going to put on a great show.”

Music on Saturday kicks off at 1 p.m. with local favorite, Hannah Belle Southerland, of Red Lick. Southerland is considered an up and coming country music artist.

At 2 p.m., Cheryl Luquire, who has performed at the ACM awards and with Lady Antebellum, takes the stage.

At 3 p.m., George Teren and Phil O’Donell will follow Luquire. Both are songwriters who have written hits for the likes of Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton.

“BMI, a company who represents artists and writers and composers, are bringing down a couple of songwriters to perform. These are writers, who also sing, but they are not the on the stage, show biz type guys. They’ve written a ton of No. 1 hits and they will talk about those songs and the special meaning they may have and will perform the songs,” Perkins said.

Another local favorite, Mojo Mudd, takes the stage at 4 p.m. That band includes local musician and bottle cap artist Brandon McCranie.

Back by popular demand, Perkins said, is Erik Dylan, who is known for his single, “Where the Party At.” He takes the stage at 6 p.m.

Lonestar is slated to perform at 8 p.m.

Putting together such an event is lots of work, but “it’s incredibly rewarding when the day comes and it all comes together,” Perkins said. “There are lots of vendors and lots of sponsors and lots of licenses — people really have no idea how much money and effort it takes to put on a show like this. And, just like with the balloon fest, if people don’t go through that gate and support it, it will disappear.

“I can’t say enough about our partnership with The Markets, Barry Loy and his team and his food vendors. It really is a partnership,” she said.

The Markets and 95 Country are principal sponsors of RiverStock 2015.

RiverStock events will be on the north end of the Natchez bluff, near the corner of Broadway and High streets.

Other events and information about RiverStock:

• Food vendors will offer samples of a variety of food different kinds of food, and concessions will be offering, including a full bar with beer, liquor and soft drinks.

• Admission for children 5 and under is free. Cost for children 6 to 12 is $10 and cost for 13 and older is $20. That admission price allows children access to all amusement rides.

“Children can wear themselves out. They can ride the rides as many times as they want,” Perkins said.

• Gates to the festival open at noon.

• A booth will be available for first aid or lost children, as needed.

• A Mutt Strut, costumed or otherwise, coordinated by the Natchez Adams County Humane Society, begins at 9 a.m. Entry fee is $5 and proceeds to the Humane Society.

• The Hoop Skirt 5K Fun Run begins at 8 a.m. Entry fee is $25 and includes the run and a t-shirt.

• For more information or to buy tickets, see riverstockfest.com or call 601-442-4895.