Festival set to rock the river for third time

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 29, 2005

Although the county is deep in festival season now, there are few offerings that are set up to appeal to the younger crowd.

Three years ago, Darrell McFann set out to change all that.

"There was absolutely nothing in this area geared just for the kids," McFann said. "We just decided that we'd pull a show together down on the riverfront, just strictly for the kids. Something they could look forward to every year."

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His solution was "Rock on the River," a rock show aimed squarely at the younger generation of Ironton residents. The third annual show will take place this Saturday at the Center Street Landing in Ironton.

This year will feature six local groups, with a blend of music from Christian rappers Gifted and J-Rock to hard rockers Warsaw, hailing from Rock Hill.

"It's going to be more of a variety of styles of music this year than what we've had in other years," McFann said.

The variety of music at the Rock on the River means that a variety of audiences usually attend the show.

"We had them last year coming in anywhere from six years old with their parents to people right up to 55 or 60 years old coming down there," McFann said.

The festival is largely a two-person effort, with truck driver McFann doing most of the organizing, and his wife doing some of the physical errands.

It's a lot of work, and it's a job that McFann doesn't even reap financial rewards for; he's doing it just for the kids.

"Ticket prices are six dollars, and that's split between the bands," McFann said. "I don't take anything out of that, each band gets a dollar for every ticket sold."

The rock is slated to start at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday with gates opening at 3 p.m. McFann predicted the show would wrap up at about 11:30 p.m.

Tickets are $6 per person.