As they plan melodic and harmonious menu running the gamut from traditional country to classic rock to internationally renowned Top 40 pop, Pickerington Violet Festival organizers are gearing up to present great music this weekend and fully expect large crowds to join in the fun.

As they plan melodic and harmonious menu running the gamut from traditional country to classic rock to internationally renowned Top 40 pop, Pickerington Violet Festival organizers are gearing up to present great music this weekend and fully expect large crowds to join in the fun.

As many as 30,000 people are expected to attend the festival.

The music is an added bonus for the $5 admission price, said Chris Stein, Violet Festival president.

The Violet Festival will be held on the grounds of Toll Gate Middle School and Toll Gate Elementary School at the corner of Refugee and Toll Gate roads in Violet Township.

It will run from 5 to 11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, July 13 and 14; 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, July 15; and noon to midnight Saturday, July 16.

Daily admission is $5 at the gate. All entertainment, with the exception of amusement rides, is free with admission.

Organizers said the festival will have an expanded midway this year with more games and bigger thrill rides.

Stein said it is the music that makes the community festival special and organizers strive each year to present not only high-quality local acts, but also performers that hold universal appeal.

This year is no exception.

On July 14, Columbus-based alternative-rock trio Plaid Brixx will take the main stage at 10 p.m.

The band has garnered national attention and is touring to support a recently released extended-play collection.

On July 15, the headliner is Nashville-based Shawn Gerhard, which will be a popular draw for country fans, Stein said.

Gerhard will be accompanied by a seven-piece band composed of notable Nashville session musicians, complete with steel guitar, banjo and fiddle players.

His act is billed as "The Ultimate Garth Brooks Tribute." He will take the main stage at 9 p.m.

"Bring your cowboy hat and your dancing boots, you will have a great time," Stein said.

July 16 will feature live music throughout the day, starting at 12:30 p.m.

The evening will bring two big-name national and international recording artists, respectively, to the main stage.

At 7:30 p.m., classic rock band Head East brings its brand of good-time rock'n'roll to the Violet Festival.

With more than four decades of music under its belt, the group still receives considerable airplay on classic-rock stations throughout the country, particularly for its biggest hit, the rock anthem "There's Never Been Any Reason (Save My Life)," Stein said.

Internationally acclaimed recording artists Little River Band will take the main stage at 9:30 p.m.

The Australian-based band has a prolific history and was a large part of the American radio landscape in the 1970s and '80s, Stein said.

"Little River Band has sold over 30 million albums," Stein said.

"They also set a record for having Top 10 hits for six consecutive years; they are the first band to achieve that mark," said Stein.

He said concertgoers will quickly remember, and sing along to, the band's large number of hits such as "Lady," "Lonesome Loser" and "Reminiscing," to name a few.

Stein said VIP parking passes are available for purchase for $20 at Kemba Financial, 941 Hill Road N., Pickerington.

The passes will allow vehicles to park on festival grounds near the entertainment stage.

General parking for the festival will be free at three sites: Pickerington High School North, 7800 Refugee Road; Lakeview Junior High School, 12445 Ault Road; and Trinity Life Family Center, 6389 Blacklick-Eastern Road NW.

Free shuttles will transport festival-goers to and from the site.

Stein said more shuttles have been procured this year, which should drastically cut down on wait times to and from the festival site.

There is, of course, much more than music.

The Violet Festival will have an expanded Kids' Corner, sponsored by Nationwide Children's Hospital.

It will feature an obstacle course, stilt-walking jugglers and appearances by children's movie characters, such as Chewbacca, Dory and Nemo.

Kids' Corner activities are free for children 12 and younger.

Also free is the Violet Festival Car and Bike Show, sponsored by Ohio AAA. It will be held from noon to 4:30 p.m. July 16 and does not require an admission ticket.

Stein said the first Violet Festival Motorcycle Run also is set for July 16.

Registration is from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at American Legion Post 283, 7725 Refugee Road.

"All proceeds from the Motorcycle Run will go to help veterans with combat-related injuries," Stein said.

For more information about the Pickerington Violet Festival, including a complete schedule of events and activities, visit violetfestival.org.

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