The organizers of this year's Powell Festival hope visitors appreciate the open-concept feel of the event.
The festival opens at 5 p.m. Friday, June 27, at Village Green Park, 47 Hall St., and runs until 11 p.m. It continues from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 28.
"The biggest change this year is the layout," said Jaymie Kottenstette, executive director of the nonprofit Historic Downtown Powell. "We have made a very conscious effort to highlight the park as a whole."
In years past, Kottenstette said, the food and beverage areas were separated from the stage and other activities. This year, visitors will be able to eat and drink throughout the park.
This year's festival also will feature a VIP area accessible to 125 paying customers per night. The area will feature catering from City Barbecue, Kraft House No. 5, Liberty Tavern, Local Roots, Yabo's Tacos and possibly other area restaurants.
"It's sort of like a Taste of Powell ... highlighting the downtown Powell experience," Kottenstette said.
She said this year's festival also will feature an increased number of food vendors and trucks compared to previous years.
Kottenstette said she thinks this year's musical lineup also will get a positive reaction from the festival crowds. She said organizers tried to schedule a variety of acts that would appeal to multiple age groups.
"A lot of attention was paid to providing our festival with outstanding music," she said.
Highlights include the contemporary country music of the Lee Gantt Band at 8 p.m. June 27 and the 1980s cover band the Reaganomics at 7:30 p.m. June 28.
Kottenstette said the festival also has attractions meant to appeal to teens and young adults, including an electronic dance music DJ and a zip line.
"We're a family event. We're a community event," she said. "We're doing our very best to cater to all demographics."
In another change from years past, the city will host the Liberty Trail 5K today, June 26, as a kind of kickoff to the festival. The race, which benefits the Wounded Warrior Project, begins at 7 p.m. on Adventure Park Drive.
Kottenstette said she expects the festival to continue growing with the community in the future.
"This has such potential, it's amazing," she said.