Bluegrass Festival draws huge crowds to downtown Raleigh


There will be free music, food, and competitions all weekend long.

There's something for every taste bud --tacos, hot dogs, sandwiches, and beer.

Click here for more information on the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival.

"It's surprising actually how busy it is and how many people we're seeing out here," said Cary resident Fred Staley.

The Pine Cone Piedmont Council of Traditional Music is in charge of organizing the Fayetteville Street layout, which features at least 200 vendors.

Of course, the biggest reason to check in was the music.

"It's beautiful. I love country music," said Raleigh resident Bob Sing. "I love bluegrass."

More than 50 bluegrass bands performed on three stages, and there was plenty of dancing during the youth performances.

"We're a really musical family," said Raleigh resident Jennifer Free. "So to be able to be out here and enjoy this is great."      

Theresa Gooding traveled from California so her two boys could perform.

"I've never been to Raleigh and I love it," said Gooding. "It's a beautiful city. It's clean. It seems safe and we've been walking around having lots of fun."

What would bluegrass be without barbecue? Twenty-nine cooks kicked off the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship Friday evening.

All of this is a big coup for the capital city hosting the international affair for the first time.

Some are estimating as many as 80,000 people from across the U.S. and around the world will pump $5 million into our local economy.

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