GMM starts Friday

Friday, October 9, 2009
Goat pens are ready for their occupants thanks to the hard-working employees of the City of Lewisburg.

Enjoying beautiful fall weather Wednesday afternoon, city manager Eddie Fuller and the city employees were busy putting the finishing touches on Rock Creek Park in preparation for the Goats Music and More Festival that starts today. Rock Creek, refreshed by recent rains, babbled cheerfully past the manicured parkland.

Fuller sported an anti-static dryer sheet instead of a handkerchief in his shirt pocket. He claims that rubbing the dryer sheet on your exposed skin and then putting it in your pocket will repel mosquitoes.

Pat Taylor, putting names on pens in the goat tents, also had a dryer sheet, but was less convinced of its efficacy.

Taylor said the overall number of goats entered in the shows was about 20 percent down compared to last year. She blamed this on "the economy." However, she said, there are more new exhibitors, which she called a good sign.

The Nigerian Dwarf Goats are new at the Festival this year. Taylor said there are 60 of them entered -- a little disappointing since they were hoping for 100.

Next year, when the economy turns around, and the NDG breeders learn that there is a great show for their goats the second weekend in October in Lewisburg, the "Goats" part of Goats Music and More will be bigger and better than ever.

Hard-working city employees were everywhere in the park. Bobby Rogers and Tye Meyer, supervised by Fuller, installed the new sponsors' banner across the top of the main stage. In the goat tents, the pens had been put up, and city employees were unloading pallets of shavings and putting a bag of shavings in each pen for the exhibitors to use as bedding for their goats.

Old Farmington Road between First Avenue North and Washington Drive has been closed all week, as preparations for Goat Fest accelerated towards opening day today. Tents, signs, bleachers, and Port-a-Potties have been installed; grass has been mowed; and spaces for booths have been marked. Signs pointing to Goat Fest parking have been placed around town.

A year's-worth of planning by Fuller, Greg Lowe, and the Goats, Music and More committee has gone into the three-day festival that starts today at 7 a.m. with the Goats Gallop 5K run. For the sponsors it started last night with the dinner that honored their generosity and hard work. Also Thursday, the final four bands in the Battle of the Bands competition, which has been going on since August, play one more time for the judges. Two of them will win the right to open for Shenandoah on Friday night, and the winner will be crowned after the concert, and go home with the $2,500 prize.