• Elena Cawley

Experience a night under the stars with music, food, friends at Wartrace MusicFest


Pull up a chair and join family and friends, chatting, enjoying delicious food, and listening to music at Wartrace MusicFest. The Wartrace MusicFest is set for June 19 in the historic downtown Wartrace square. Head to Wartrace for live music, food trucks, games, MusicFest merchandise. Gates open at 6 p.m. and music begins at 7 p.m.


“Our town is known for its ‘Mayberry’ charm, with our local police officer, quaint historic buildings, and family-friendly atmosphere,” said Anna Brandon, one of the organizers of Wartrace MusicFest. “At the show you will find great up-and-coming talent, as well as our headliner performing with the sunset and railroad tracks as their backdrop.”


Gates will open at 6 p.m. Justin Williams will start performing at 7 p.m., followed by local celebrity, Asher Cataldo, according to Brandon. The headliner for June 19 is Dallas Moore.

Look around and you’ll see “families on blankets, kids dancing up front with ice cream cones, young people playing cornhole, shops open late for festival goers, and food trucks satisfying cravings,” said Brandon.


“Last year was the first time we ever had the festival in the square, so it was really special,” Brandon said. “Everyone was cheering as the train rolled through behind the band. I loved that last year.”


The best aspect of the event is the shared spirit of happiness, optimism and cheerfulness.

“My favorite part of MusicFest is the community coming together in the way you only experience in a small town,” Brandon said. “Everybody either knows you or wants to know you. Shop owners help out, kids run around, an old man sitting on a bench with his pipe, and everyone pulling up a chair to enjoy a summer night together.”


Brandon invites you to join the fun and to experience Wartrace entertainment, food and hospitality.


“I think everyone should come experience a night under the stars in a small town with great music, food, and company,” Brandon said. “There's something so nostalgic and nourishing to the soul – it's unlike any other show found in Music City itself.”


Visitors will have a chance to purchase event items.


“We will also have a merchandise tent with T-shirts, mugs, stickers,” Brandon said. “You can buy tickets for $15 on Eventbrite or purchase at the gate. Coolers, chairs, kids, and leashed pets are welcome.”


Volunteers come together to make this event happen.


“I volunteer to manage the marketing and social media for our Wartrace Chamber of Commerce,” Brandon said. “The members of the Wartrace Chamber of Commerce volunteer their time to make the Wartrace MusicFest happen. The Town of Wartrace splits the cost with us. Proceeds from the event have gone to civic improvements in the town or other charities. The Wartrace MusicFest is a nonprofit event.”


The Wartrace MusicFest origins go back to 1968 and the Fiddlers’ Convention started in Wartrace by local guitar maker Don Gallagher, said Brandon.


After Gallagher attended the 1968 Union Grove Fiddlers’ Convention in North Carolina, he and his friends incorporated and produced the Wartrace Pickin' and Fiddlers Convention that was held Aug. 17-18, 1979, according to www.townofwartrace.com.


Now, festival organizers are excited to announce thrilling changes and new plans.

“The festival will be held downtown possibly for the last time this year,” Brandon said. “New and exciting changes are coming next year, as we look for more space to accommodate awesome future plans.”


Follow Wartrace MusicFest’s Facebook page to see what's coming, and visit wartracemusicfest.com for more information and to purchase tickets for the event.

While you’re in Wartrace, browse the shops on the square. If you don’t have time to visit each of them on June 19, make plans to take another trip to Wartrace soon.


“There are several shops right on the square that will be open late Saturday night for shopping or food,” Brandon said. “You’ll find women's and children's clothing, gifts, decor, jewelry, holiday finds, arts and craft treasures, antiques, furniture, local teas, honey, jam, and more.”


Visit the Shoppes at 31 Main, Sparrow's Nest, Old Petticoat Trading Co., Color Kreations, and the Rusty Bee.


“The Iron Horse Pizzeria has fresh pizza, including a good gluten-free crust, served up with a variety of craft beer, cider, and hard seltzer,” Brandon said. The local bed-and-breakfast is the historic Blue Victorian, in walking distance to the show. Another great bed-and-breakfast is Seasons Bed and Breakfast in Bell Buckle, less than 15 minutes away from the show. There are a couple more bed-and-breakfasts in Bell Buckle, too.”