ROCHESTER — Now a two-day event instead of three, the Fulton County Round Barn Festival will be this Friday and Saturday in downtown Rochester.
For years, the festival spanned Thursday to Saturday. But now in its 44th year, it’s just Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day.
Diane Spore, executive director of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce, said the festival changed to respect local businesses.
If streets were closed down for three days, Spore said, it would keep local businesses from maintaining normal businesses hours.
”It seemed a lot better for businesses,” Spore said of the two-day format.
Spore also said the chamber adjusted the free entertainment to be more “family-friendly.”
Friday’s main attractions will be Kalita, a magician and illusionist, and Cavern Beat, a Beatles tribute band.
Performing on Saturday will be T.A.G. (Totally Against The Grain), a Christian hip-hop artist, and Lady Sunshine, a blues and jazz artist.
Apart from the festival entertainment, there are smaller events throughout the day such as carnival rides for kids, water fights and food.
”Even if it’s not happening on the Main Stage,” Spore said, “it’s happening within the festival.”
Spore said one of the fan-favorite events is the twilight parade. It begins at 8 p.m. Friday and lasts an hour. There are dozens of floats and a contest for the best one.
The festival will continue to have two round barn tours each day. Tour participants will learn the history of the round barns as well.
Spore said the festival attracts not just people from northern Indiana, but southern Indiana and around Chicago. Fulton County is the round barn capital of the world, Spore said.
Reach Ben Middelkamp at email@example.com or 574-732-5117.
If you go WHAT: Fulton County Round Barn Festival WHEN: Friday and Saturday, 10 to 11 a.m. each day WHERE: Downtown Rochester COST: Free MORE INFO: fultoncountychamber.com Schedule of events: Friday 9 a.m. Round Barn Tour (starts at West 8th Street in front of RTC) Noon to 1 p.m. RTX All Stars, Main Stage 1 p.m. Round Barn Tour (starts at West 8th Street in front of RTC) 1:30-2:30 p.m. Blue Dragon Taekwondo, Main Stage 3:30-4:30 p.m. Kalita, magic and escape artist, Main Stage 5-7 p.m. Adrienne Frailey, folk singer/songwriter, Main Stage 8 p.m. Twilight parade 9-11 p.m. Cavern Beat, Beatles tribute band, Main Stage Saturday 9 a.m. Round Barn Tour (starts at West 8th Street in front of RTC) 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Balloon Man, Main Street Noon-1 p.m. Just Jammin, Main Stage 1 p.m. Round Barn Tour (starts at West 8th Street in front of RTC) 1:30 -2:30 p.m. T.A.G., Totally Against The Grain, Christian hip hop artist, Main Stage 2 p.m. Literacy Tug of War, west side of the Courthouse lawn 3-4 p.m. Fulton County Jazz Choir, Main Stage 4 p.m. Firefighters Waterball Competition, Madison Street, between 8th and 9th streets 4:15-5:15 p.m. Tri County Kickers, front of Main Stage 6-8 p.m. Bluehour, Chicago jazz band, Main Stage 9-11 p.m. Main Stage, Lady Sunshine, jazz, funk, blues, New Orleans, rock, Main Stage