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Rock on River set for Saturday

It began four years ago as a youth-oriented music festival.

The annual Rock on the River will be 2 p.m. Saturday at the Center Street boat landing.

“There is no alcohol allowed, no drugs,” said Darryl McFann, who organizes the event with his wife, Kim. “The music is the style the kids listen to. This is to get the kids out so they can have a good time.”

Tickets are $6 each, which McFann said pays for the sound system and the bands. The gates will open at 12 p.m. Each band will perform half-hour to 45-minute sets.

McFann said he did not know how many people to expect but is hoping to see his concert grow.

“We had 120 the first year and it’s been creeping up a little each year after that,” he said. “I want them to know that somebody cares about the kids,” he said. “I want them to know they are not being shoved aside. I want them have something to do. I’d love to have all the kids come out.”

The event will be a chance for one Ironton artist to come home and play, so to speak. Gyfted, with his dance team WunLuvv Dance Squad, is among the artists taking the stage.

“I’m very excited to perform again in Ironton. I have a lot of people showing me love and support from home and no matter how big I get, I won’t forget where I came from. So it’s always exciting to do a concert back in the area,” Gyfted, a.k.a. Matt Johnson, said. “We’ll also be performing at Marshall the following weekend so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Gyfted recently signed with a Miami, Fla., talent agency, Red, Black and Green Promotions. He now lives in Columbus.

Also on the lineup: J Rok, Mark My Words, Aries Burning and P.I., all Ironton area bands and Time Before Last, a Huntington, W.Va.,-based band. Other bands will be announced later on, organizers said.