By Jonathon Lance and P.J. Tracy
MURFREESBORO — The Murfreesboro Advertising and Tourism has announced the first ever Murfreesboro Rock Fest.
This festival, which is planned to be an annual event, is scheduled this year to coincide with Crater of Diamonds State Park’s 50th anniversary. This festival will celebrate the mining history of the Murfreesboro area this year on Saturday, April 23.
“We want to build this thing, get as many people here as possible,” said Tourism Commission chairman Jack Bonds, adding that making a profit the first time was a “non-starter” and shouldn’t be worried about when starting a tradition. “This will be held yearly as a celebration of the park’s birthday.”
The event’s premise is inspired by the former Gem and Mineral Show of years past in Murfreesboro, despite that the late start of planning will keep an actual show from occurring at the 2022 edition.
Motorists are asked to note that the square will be roped off to restrict traffic on April 23 until around 3 p.m.
At 3 p.m., a drawing will be held at Crater of Diamonds State Park for multiple replicas of the Esperanza diamond, including one purchased by the Murfreesboro Advertising and Tourism and Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce.
Participating local businesses will be denoted on both event flyers and social media for those who wish to enter for the drawing with a purchase at each of the businesses.
Before that, however, the events planned for the festival include a show for cars, motorcycles, and tractors around the courthouse square, a celebratory cake cutting featuring cupcakes with edible diamonds for all, and a cornhole tournament that begins at 10 a.m. A bounce house for children will also be available on the square.
The vehicle show will last from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. It will be composed of three divisions: cars, motorcycles, and tractors. The spots for the show will be located around the square on the “outside” of the square (nearest the stores on the square).
The prizes available in each division include five contestants’ choice prizes in the car show, which are unranked awards given to vehicles based upon the votes of the show’s contestants. The tractor show and the motorcycle show will each feature three “contestants’ choice” prizes. Each division will also feature three awards given out by local and county officials. The fee for entry to these shows are $20 per vehicle entered.
Several car clubs have committed to attending the show, including ones from Texarkana, Hope and Nashville.
Two local bands are scheduled to perform at the event — the Joe Ledbetter band and Pike 5.
Vendors will also be present around the square, including food sales, a vendor selling fishing lures and a vendor raffling off a gun to support veterans’ organizations.
Spaces for vendors measure approximately 12 feet by 12 feet and will be located around the courthouse on the “inside” (the courthouse side) of the square. For vendors who do not need electricity, spots are available for $25. Spots with electric hookups are $50.
Vendor applications can be obtained from the Tourist Information Center in Murfreesboro City Hall, located at 805 N Washington Avenue, or downloaded from bit.ly/rockfest2022
Completed vendor applications (with checks) can be filled out and returned to
Murfreesboro Advertising and Tourism Commission, P.O. Box 91, Murfreesboro AR 71958. Completed applications can also be brought by 805 N. Washington (Murfreesboro City Hall) between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org