It’s being described as one of the largest gatherings of people to ever take place in Randolph County, and if you listen to the organizers it’s only going to get bigger.
In its third year, Wedowee’s Frog Level Music Festival took over the town and brought over 1,000 people to downtown Wedowee through the course of the day. The event set high water marks in attendance, participation and overall buzz, beginning with record numbers in the morning 5K and a record crowd for the marquee event Saturday night, the Atlanta Rhythm Section concert.
“This year was just way far beyond our expectations,” said Barry Waldrep, one of the event’s organizers. “I would say there were more people in Wedowee at one time Saturday than there’s ever been. It was great all day.”
Over 90 vendors crowded the median in downtown Wedowee, 71 vintage cars were on display for the car show, 166 runners participated in the 5K and kids’ fun run, and an estimated 700 attended the concert Saturday night.
The day also featured a wood chopping contest, musical performances in front of the county courthouse and horse rides.
And in honor of Memorial Day, a flag raising and memorial ceremony took place as well, as one of the centerpieces of the day’s festivities.
“It’s something everybody I think now is going to know that that Saturday before Memorial Day will be that event,” Waldrep said. “I think it will be a long tradition now.”
Waldrep, who is head of the Wedowee Merchants Association and owner of Banjo.com and 48 West music venue in Wedowee, was instrumental in getting the festival off the ground three years ago. And he plays a large role in booking the headliner for the concert each year, while also serving as an opening act for that concert.
Waldrep said the plan is to continue to grow the event and add different elements each year.
“We want to do this where there’s something for everybody. We’re going to add some events as years go by, going to add a few each year and just make it a really big thing,” he said.