MILLEDGEVILLE — Downtown Milledgeville merchants are geared up to welcome an anticipated crowd of at least 15,000 to the annual music, art and entertainment Deep Roots Festival as it celebrates its 10th anniversary this weekend.
“Downtown businesses have all experienced double, triple or more for regular Saturday sales on the Saturday of Deep Roots. It’s a huge economic boost for our community,” said Carlee Schulte, director of the Milledgeville Main Street. “Last year we had 15,000 people and the committee members have seen it grow from a mere hundreds to this. This is a huge day which means a huge weekend. We’re just proud to put it on for the community every year.”
Charmed Spa and Salon on South Wayne Street has been a part of Deep Roots for the past seven years. Customers with a purchase will be entered into a raffle for the chance to win a free pedicure. Customers can also enter into a raffle to win a Charmed day package, including a facial, manicure and pedicure.
“We have several door prizes, like makeup cases, bubble bath and a pocketbook. Customers who make any $50 purchase can be entered to win a gift basket worth $175,” said Carrolle Mayfield, manager at Charmed. “It’s a real festive feeling downtown and it’s a wonderful feeling to be part of the downtown community. We’ve seen Deep Roots grow into such a big function. It’s a big boost to our sales, and it’s just an exciting time of year; we smell barbecue for four days.”
Cliff Charnes of Local Yolkal Cafe opened for business on West Hancock Street in March, and he is excited for his first Deep Roots experience this weekend.
“We don’t know what to expect. We’ve ordered some extra food, but we’re not really sure what it’s going to be like apart from what we’ve heard about it,” Charnes said. “We will offer our normal menu, but we are prepared to be busy so we will stay open until 8 p.m. We are the only place in town to get Eggs Benedict, and in five different variations. We serve breakfast and lunch all day long, including hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and steak sandwiches. We’re just very excited.”
The Deep Roots music festival has garnered 28 Kaleidoscope Awards at the annual Southeast Festivals and Events Association since 2005, receiving recognition for its website, T-shirt, volunteer support, sponsorship, marketing campaign, photography, poster, event program and more. This year’s festival falls on the same weekend as Georgia Military College’s annual Alumni Weekend.
“With this being my fourth year with Deep Roots, it’s exciting to me to see it all coming together,” Schulte said. “Having that realization moment is such a cool feeling.”
The festival is slated to kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday and lasts until midnight. Admission is $5. The streets of downtown are scheduled to close at 3 a.m. Saturday. All vehicles left after that time will be towed at the owners expense.
The music lineup for the main stage features five internationally-known acts, including The Greenway, Rock U AllStars, Wet Willie with Jimmy Hall, Shovels & Rope and headliner Allen Stone. In addition to music, the festival features a barbecue cook off, a community performance stage, one of the largest car shows in the southeast, street arts and crafts vendors, and a kids play zone.
For more information about Deep Roots, the barbecue cook off, or the community stage lineup, visit www.deeprootsfestival.com.
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