The 50th edition of Roanoke’s most identifiable annual celebration, Festival in the Park, might have broken records for participation today, but that’s not a good thing. The record would be on the low end because during the middle of the day it was more ghost town than Easter Parade.
The numbers of vendors and people wanting to enjoy the music, food and crafts was woefully down, something that has seemed to me to be a trend for the past few years. My guess is that it will pick up this evening (if the rain holds off, which it doesn’t appear to want to do) and next weekend when art is the feature.
Still, it was eerily quiet as a group of kids from the Southwest Virginia Ballet took the stage to perform some pretty dances and several individual acts played before either nobody or very few throughout the venue. The normally packed area in front of Roanoke’s downtown library had almost nothing going on.
Still, there’s plenty to see if you look. Here’s some of what I saw.