Rod Brasfield Festival mixes new and old in return to Smithville

MC-0814-BrasProgram-3K-226x300-1SMITHVILLE – In its final years before going on a 16-year hiatus, the Rod Brasfield Festival featured cake walks, antique tractors and singings that created an allure that pulled people in from across the county. Festival co-organizer Nancy Bishop describes the return of the festival as a mix of old and new Smithville.


The festival will be held August 16-17 in Smithville. Click here for more details.

“A lot of people are really excited about it coming back. When we first started organizing it, we wondered what we would do if only three vendors showed up,” Bishop said.

In the days before this weekend’s festival, vendors were still signing up bringing the list to close to 30 arts and crafts vendors and 20 food booths.

Named in memory of Smithville’s most famous son, the Rod Brasfield Festival is staying true to his style of down home entertainment, but with a modern twist.

Gospel, country and rock acts will grace the newly constructed stage of Rod Brasfield Park for the two-day event.

“All of the performers contacted us and they’re not even going to charge us for the gas it takes to get here,” said Bishop, who pointed out there’s still a sense of generosity for those wanting to give back to Smithville following the 2011 EF-5 tornado.

The Calhoun County Antique Tractor Club approached organizers to ask if it could display more than 20 antique tractors at no cost to the festival.

Food vendors will carry an array of food such as fried Oreos, funnel cakes, hamburgers, barbecue, ice cream and snocones. The food vendors will encircle the ball field next to the park with a food court-type sitting area set at the tennis courts.

Arts and crafts vendors will offer everything from Southern Belle T-shirts to Scentsy candles to Delta Duck Calls, along with clothing, picture frames and wooden signs. There will be a duck call contest Saturday and author Janis Suggs Dyson will sign autographs of her book, “Turning Clay Into History: The Story of W.D. Suggs Pottery,” about her grandfather’s pottery business started in Smithville in the early 1900s.

“We want to build on everything we have this year and we hope the festival will eventually host family and class reunions. We’ll keep it set for the third weekend of August every year since that was Rod Brasfield’s birthday,” Bishop said.

Signs directing festivalgoers to parking areas will be posted on Highway 25.

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