Music, food, and cornhole: The eighth annual Greencastle Music Festival draws a crowd

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Laughter and music filled the town square on Saturday’s eighth annual Greencastle Music Festival.

Last Saturday, August 26, the Greencastle Music Fest brought energetic musical performances, food, drinks, and fun—aspects Greencastle residents have come to expect from the Fest.

The featured band—The Louisville Crashers from Kentucky—returned to Greencastle’s Music Fest after their warm reception at last year’s event. The Music Fest also included face-painting and an assortment of games for kids to enjoy, as well as a cornhole tournament for adults. They were accompanied by Don Von Tress, writer of Billy Ray Cyrus’ smash hit “Achy Breaky Heart” and Greencastle native.

The annual festival is organized by Almost Home owner, Gail Smith and originally commemorated the establishment’s 20th anniversary. Smith told The DePauw that each year the festival gets bigger and better. For the first time, visitors were charge admission of $5, but children under 12 were let in for free. Half of all proceeds went toward future events in Mainstreet Greencastle. 

The event drew what seemed to be a surprising turnout for a town of Greencastle’s size. But Greencastle resident Matt Helmer was not surprised by the crowds, as the Music Fest has become an important and highly anticipated annual event for many residents in the area. “For a small town, it’s a big deal,” Helmer said. “It’s like going to a big class reunion.”

While Greencastle residents seemed to make up the majority of attendees, the Music Fest also seemed to interest DePauw students as well, an exciting prospect in working towards a more cohesive community, inclusive of both DePauw students and Greencastle residents. Junior Andrew Bobker, a School of Music student, came to enjoy the festival with his friends. “I think it’s really cool that you have this many people coming in,” Bobker said. “It’s a great thing to see this sort of vibrant culture here.”

News of the Music Fest drew in crowds beyond Greencastle town limits. Denetia Bius and her husband, residents of a town twenty minutes outside of Greencastle, heard about the event through Facebook and through friends. “To sit here and enjoy the whole square and the beauty of the architecture and the people and everything is just wonderful,” Buis said.

A successful eighth annual Music Fest marks not only the passing of another year but also the city’s devotion to strengthening its sense of community, especially between DePauw students and Greencastle residents. The Music Fest, and events like it, provide perfect opportunities for an intersection of these two communities, helping DePauw students feel at home, and Greencastle residents feel a strong sense of pride for the university town they share.