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Country music festival announces lineup

By Melissa Crowe
Aug. 30, 2014 at 2:51 p.m.

Children wade in the water with blow up balls at Bootfest.

IF YOU GO

• What: Bootfest

• When: 6 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Oct. 3; 10 a.m.-12:30 a.m. Oct. 4

• Where: DeLeon Plaza in Victoria

• Cost: Free admission; free parking

• Parking: Shuttles start 5:30 p.m. Oct. 3 and 9:45 a.m. Oct. 4 from the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., and Riverside Stadium, 405 Memorial Drive to DeLeon Plaza

Source: VisitVictoriaTexas.com

Kick up your heels this fall at Victoria's signature country music festival.

Bootfest, presented by the city of Victoria, has become one of the region's largest outdoor music events and includes 11 bands on two stages, a car show, a washers tournament, trick ropers, boot makers and western artisans, hot food, cold drinks and a fireworks show to cap off the weekend that rivals Fourth of July.

Among the headliners at the festival's main stage are Los Amigos ASG, William Clark Green and Casey Donahew Band, who play Oct. 3, as well as La Fiebre, Cody Johnson Band and Aaron Watson playing Oct. 4.

The festival also includes singer and songwriters, rock 'n' roll, blues, Tejano and more.

With the addition of Tejano music for this year's festival, Bootfest is reflecting the diversity of musical interests in Victoria, said Joel Novosad, marketing manager at the Victoria Convention and Visitors Bureau.

As for what sets Bootfest apart from other festivals, organizers joke that "it's not about poultry."

"It's about our heritage," said LaRue Roth, convention and visitors bureau director. "It's not just another sausage-on-a-stick, beer-ticket festival."

The festival opens 5:30 p.m. Oct. 3 and closes after midnight Saturday.

During the two-day, free event, festival organizers expect between 24,000 and 25,000 people to descend upon downtown Victoria.

"We have the finest and hottest Texas artists at Bootfest this year," Roth said.

With fast-risers, such as openers La Fiebre and Cody Johnson Band on Oct. 4, and others who have stood the test of time, they're an asset to the Texas country music scene, Novosad said.

Festival-goers can beat the crowds by taking advantage of a free shuttle service. Some hotels also offer discounted rates for the weekend.

Roth said she is most proud of the festival's free children's activities and said the positive reaction has been "mind-boggling."

Children can enjoy the expanded free Kids' Corral, which includes dozens of games, bounce houses and performances, while mom and dad shop the 75 arts and crafts vendors and enjoy the food fare from 20 food vendors.

"The festival has raised the bar here in terms of what people think is possible for Victoria," Roth said.

Previous years brought Josh Abbott, Bri Bagwell, Easton Corbin, Micky and the Motorcars, Jerrod Niemann, Turnpike Troubadours and many local favorites.

"Since the first year, we've seen Wynonna, major national comedians and others come to Victoria," Roth said. "There are more performances, more options, more often."

Festival headliner Aaron Watson, nicknamed the "Honky-Tonk Kid," is a staple in Texas country. With 11 albums to his name, Watson knows how to pour his heart and soul into his music and is putting out a new album this year called "The Underdog."

Hailing from Huntsville, the Cody Johnson Band has taken Texas dance halls by storm, winning the Texas Regional Music Awards as new male vocalist of the year.

William Clark Green has two albums under his belt, and the Casey Donahew Band has carved out their niche througout the past decade.

La Fiebre has been on the top of the Latin music charts, has 25 albums and has secured a place as one of the genre's most influential acts.

Los Amigos ASG, short for amigos segunda generacion, have been playing throughout the Victoria area the past 20 years.

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