By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
The northeast Panhandle town of Canadian is expecting a major population boom this weekend.
The eighth-annual Canadian River Music Festival kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday at Jones Pavilion, 1101 N. Sixth St. in Canadian.
"Our first-year crowd was 1,500, and now we're pushing 3,000," said co-chair Kate Estrada. "Not a lot of small towns can double their population with a music festival."
Booking some of the top Americana and country acts helps. This year's lineup includes:
- Hillbilly Stu at 11:30 a.m.
- The Cody Sparks Band at 12:30 p.m.
- Red Shahan at 1:30 p.m.
- Rob Baird at 3 p.m.
- Flatland Cavalry at 4:30 p.m.
- Jason Boland & The Stragglers at 6 p.m.
- Blackhawk at 7:30 p.m.
- and William Clark Green at 9:30 p.m.
"We try to have something for everybody," Estrada said. "We try to get what's popular and also try to do a little different something."
That includes red-hot Americana / Texas stars like Boland and Green, rising stars like Lubbock's Flatland Cavalry, esteemed singer-songwriters Baird and Shahan and '90s Nashville stars Blackhawk, as well as Canadian-area acts Hillbilly Stu and Cody Sparks.
"I'm excited about everyone," Estrada said. "I'm super excited about Red Shahan. He's a singer-songwriter who's just got the kind of sound I like. ... And it's really cool that Blackhawk is going to be here because I grew up listening to them."
Parking is available on the grounds; enter the area from Texas Highways 60/83. The festival will go on rain or shine except in the case of particularly extreme weather. BYOB alcohol is allowed in plastic bottles; no glass containers are allowed. Food will be on sale at the event.
Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the gate.