Show Your Roots: Roots Fest Review

Ashley Everhart, Editor-in-Chief

The distinct scent of barbeque and funnel cakes filled the air, the sound of children squealing and loud R&B music surrounded me. This is the atmosphere at the annual Roots Festival held in Paola, Kansas on Aug 26-27.

People of all ages in Paola and beyond have attended Roots Fest at some point in the last 27 years it’s been held.

Chairs are placed around the Square days in advance so people can ensure they’ll have a spot close to the stage to watch all of the musical performances.

There is a wide variety of food, vendors and games including the BBQ Championship Cook Off.

Unfortunately, the henna tattoo booth, a popular attraction for many high school students, was not in attendance this year.

To make up for it, there was a wide variety of music. Everything from the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band to The School of Rock, a performing arts school for students located in Overland Park.

Samantha Fish was one of the many artists that captured the attention of the crowd. Fish is in her mid-twenties and has already released two albums and won several awards including the Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut for her 2011.

The Roots Festival provides the community with a great opportunity to get out of their house and enjoy the simpler things in life like BBQ and lemonade.

There is a wide variety of things to purchase including homemade clothing, jewelry and candles.

While there are many opportunities, the Roots Festival is what you make of it. You can have fun eating funnel cake, getting your face painted and playing balloon darts or you can sit on a bench staring at your cell phone surrounded by second-hand smoke.

If you are looking for an opportunity to meet new people, buy unique items you can’t find anywhere else and listen to a wide range of live music the Roots Festival is where you can find.

Whereas, if you are looking for a peaceful, quiet night then I would definitely advise you against attending the Roots Festival. With all of the fun activities going on, it is difficult to get away from all of the noise.

Overall I think the Roots Festival brings a lot of people into Paola and is a great opportunity for local businesses. It allows many people to discover the attractions in town and see Paola at its finest.