Free music festival to take place in downtown Greencastle

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Almost Home Restaurant marked it’s 20th year of being in the Square in 2010. With that in mind, owner Gail Smith decided to celebrate.

That celebration turned into a music festival that is growing in population and with talent. This year, Almost Home’s 25th year in business, they plan to throw their biggest party so far.

On Saturday, Aug. 29, the sixth annual Greencastle Music Fest will take place from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the square, with an after show in the restaurant’s bar, The Swizzle Stick. The streets on the Square will be blocked off to cars for the event and will be free to the public.

Though a bit jittery, Smith is excited.

“It scares the bejeezus out of me,” Smith said, “but I can’t wait.”

The event will feature three live bands, the Louisville Crashers, who have been featured on Jay Leno and Conan, local musician Tad Robinson’s band Soul Bus and Ellusion, a returning favorite.

Smith saw the Louisville Crashers, fittingly enough, in Louisville more than two years ago and knew right then and there that she wanted them for her festival. She booked them that night.

The MacDaddys will be playing in the after show.  

“[They’re] one of our favorites,” said Smith.

While the bands have their own original tunes, they will mainly be playing covers of more popular music.

David Hunt, who will be the emcee for the event, said they started planning back in January for the event.

“It’s six months away, then three months, then four weeks and now here we are only a week-and-a-half away,” Hunt said. “I feel like the community has said that they want it and enjoy it.”

“And we enjoy it,” said Smith, who told us she never really planned to throw it every year, but does it to have a good time and bring the community together.

While Smith and Hunt pretty much have done all of the planning on their own, she attributes the event’s success to her staff and close friends.

“It takes an army,” said Smith.

But Smith is no amateur, as she started the First Fridays on the Square events and continues to help with them today.

People travel to the festival as well, according to Smith, and with all of the new changes implemented in the Square over the past few years, she is excited to show off her town.

“I feel like we’ve got something to show off now,” said Smith, “and we’re going to celebrate it!”

Smith says a lot of preparation goes into getting things ready the day of the event as well. She herself will be getting there at 7 a.m. when the streets close to start getting ready.

The sound aspect, from local business Showtyme Sound, takes all day to set up, and the physical stage takes time as well.  But no fear, the farmers’ market will continue as usual.

The event will feature beer gardens, food tents from Almost Home and Myers’ Market, a cornhole tournament, activities for children and something Smith is particularly animated about: a dessert tent.

In the past, the event has taken place on DePauw move-in weekend, which Smith says does draw some parents and their incoming first-years to the Square, but she hopes having it the weekend after this time around will increase attendance.

“It’s already wall-to-wall,” said Smith, “but we would love to see more DePauw students as well.”