Bootfest attendees can "Take It Easy" and start "Livin' on a Prayer" as two tribute bands take the stage on the opening night of the free festival.

Desperado, and Eagles tribute band, and Blaze of Glory, a Bon Jovi tribute band, are among the bands lined up to perform at the ninth annual Bootfest at DeLeon Plaza in downtown Victoria.

The free music festival will kick off at 6 p.m. Oct. 4 with these and other bands paying homage to legends of rock.

Four popular Texas and traditional country musical acts will take the main stage from 5 to 11 p.m. Oct. 5. Kyle Park and Wade Bowen will wrap up the festival, followed by a fireworks show launched from the top of One O’Connor Plaza.

“About 4,000 people are expected to attend,” said Joel Novosad, director of the Victoria Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Bootfest is a wonderful way for the community to come together – families, young couples, older couples, groups of friends, children – a great mix of community members.”

Rock musicians who recreate the music of bands with cult followings will perform again this year after tribute bands made a popular debut at Bootfest last year.

Considered one of the best Van Halen tribute bands in the country, the Atomic Punks from Los Angeles will headline Oct. 4, Novosad said.

Crossroads residents can “Jump” and “Dance the Night Away,” like they did in the ’80s with “Hot for Teacher” and “Panama.”

High Risk will open Bootfest at 6 p.m. with a reunion show of classic rock covers.

“They were very big in the rock scene in Victoria at one time,” Novosad said.

Bowen, who headlined the Friday night concert at 2011 Bootfest, will top the bill Saturday this year. Park, a former Friday-night headliner at 2015 Bootfest also will perform late Saturday.

“Kyle Park is a big name in the Texas country music scene, and Wade Bowen has a huge fan base,” Novosad said of the two musical acts that will take the main stage last.

Jade Marie Patek and Mike and the Moonpies will perform on the main stage from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

“We will start off with a wonderful, talented Crossroads singer-songwriter, Jade Marie Patek. We like to promote local and regional musicians,” Novosad said. “A great up-and-coming Texas country act, Mike and the Moonpies, are really praised for their live performances and their great traditional country music sound.”

The Kids’ Corral will feature inflatables and activities for the children. Trick roper Kevin Fitzpatrick will perform with his horse, and “the kids really love his rope and lasso tricks,” Novosad said. Among other western crafters, Camargo’s Western Boots from Mercedes will perform boot-making demonstrations.

Other attractions include the DeTar Healthcare System 5K, the Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show and the Shooters Bar Washers Tournament.

Twenty food vendors will serve barbecue, seafood, snow cones, ice cream and various other fair foods. Beer and other beverage also will be available for purchase.

Merchandise vendors will sell apparel, jewelry and home décor.

Bootfest, sponsored by the city of Victoria, was born in 2011 out of the desire to see a signature festival in downtown Victoria.

As a free event open to all individuals in the community and a safe environment with great entertainment value for families, the festival improves the quality of life in Victoria, Novosad said.

Elena Anita Watts covers arts, culture and entertainment for the Victoria Advocate.

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