The menu for musical entertainment at the fourth annual Athens Grease Festival is as varied as the list of fried foods.
The entertainment recipe for the June 11 event is a mixture of genres: jazz, pop, county, bluegrass, rock, gospel, R&B, Latino and reggae.
“We call it our ‘deep fried’ music mix,” said Festival Chairwoman Robbin Hines. “We will have a little bit for everybody.”
The Spirit of Athens, a Main Street organization, hosts the festival as a tribute to the Greek origin of the city’s name and a celebration of all things fried. It also is a way to offer affordable family fun in historic downtown Athens.
Local American Idol contestant Lillian Glanton and her band, The Elk River Boys, are among the music line-up.
“I am always excited to perform in my hometown,” Glanton said. “It means so much to me that everyone has been so supportive and encouraging.”
Glanton performed at the Spirit of Athens event Fridays After Five last year before her American Idol debut. The teen grew up in western Limestone County on a farm and began taking guitar lessons at age 5. Glanton said she has had a busy schedule since being on Idol and has shows booked all summer. The Athens Grease Festival is an ideal time for her hometown to catch a performance.
“My band comes from right here in Limestone County, too,” she said.
Her lead guitarist is Hunter Jones, drummer is Drake Lopez and her bass guitarist is Garrett Browning. Fans can follow her musical journey on Facebook at Lillian Glanton Music.
Hines said Cool Bone Jazz Band will participate in the opening ceremonies. The festival is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on The Square. Opening ceremonies will start at 11:30 a.m. with Athena, members of her court, and event organizers parading around the event area.
In addition to music, event goers can sample fried concoctions such as fried deviled eggs stuffed with jalapeno pimento cheese and bacon made by LuVici’s and fried shrimp puppies made by Suzanne’s Bakery. The shrimp puppy is like a hushpuppy stuffed with shrimp with a sweet/heat flavor.
Other activities include a toga contest, Dub’s Burger Eating Contest, frozen turkey toss, Kids’ Zone and mechanical bull. In addition, Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful will recycle the cooking grease, which is then used by farmers in their bio-fuel equipment.
By: Holly Hollman