By LISA HOOVER
WADDINGTON -- As top bass anglers from around the world compete for a $100,000 prize, area residents will have a chance to attend free concerts, watch fireworks, and participate in other activities.
Concert performers will include “American Idol” finalist Bucky Covington; Jason Michael Carroll, whose first album debuted in first place on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart; Waddington’s own Acoustic Brothers and the 10th Mountain Division Band.
The Taste and Talents festival will include a kid’s play area, a mobile fishing aquarium, local food and craft vendors, beer, bourbon and wine tasting, live music and fireworks. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, wrapping up from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Special exhibits will include a 50-foot fish tank, a birds of prey exhibit at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day, a trout pond, a fishing simulator, bourbon sampling, and carriage rides. Other highlights will include “ghost rider” helicopter rides for $50 per person, an antique car show Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and a beer tent. A bouncy house for kids will be available.
The Elite Series Expo will be Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. with activities, games and prizes from B.A.S.S. sponsors. Companies including Mercury, Nitro, Skeeter, Triton and Yamaha will have booths and offer demo rides. Several other vendors will also have booths set up.
Multiple organizations and vendors will offer food during the festival, including several specialty shops featuring maple products, teas, coffee, and wine.
Many crafters and artisans will also have wares for sale, including jewelry, clothes, accessories, art, furniture, duck decoys, quilts, and cartoon caricatures.
Fireworks will be set off around 9 p.m. Saturday, following the festival. Stonebridge Kayaks will offer kayak and canoe rentals.
Many Free Concerts
All concerts will take place in Whittaker Park. Covington will perform Friday, Aug. 9 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Carroll will appear Saturday, Aug. 10 from 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Chris Taylor and the Custom Taylor Band will play Sunday, August 11 from 1 to 3 p.m.
Performances by North Country groups are also planned, including Backroad Blue Grass Band from 1 to 3 p.m., The Acoustic Brothers from 5 to 7 p.m., and the Waydown Wailers from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday.
Friday’s acts will include Native American song and dance performance from 1 to 2:30 p.m., Sweet Adelines from 2:30 to 3 p.m., Lacey Stoddard from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m., and Crunchenstein’s laser light show from 10 to 11:30 p.m.
Saturday’s groups will include the 10th Mountain Division Band from 1 to 3 p.m., the Fort Drum Color Guard from 3 to 3:15 p.m., Atomic Preciatation from 4 to 6 p.m., and Larry Holly from 6:15 to 7 p.m.
Sunday will include local high school graduates Kaitlyn LaShomb, Troy O’Brien, and Nick Rycroft from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Another highlight will be the “Great Waddington 50/50 Raffle,” which will have a top prize of up to $15,000. Priced at $10 each, only 3,000 tickets will be sold to offset the costs of the showdown.
For more information visit northcountrybass.com.