Organizers Plan Jam-Packed 2013 River District Festival

Danville, VA-- The Danville community is gearing up for their biggest event of the year, the River District Festival.

The two-day event kicks off in downtown Danville on Friday. The festival is in its third year now, and organizers said it's getting better every year.

They've made some changes, but entertainment and promoting downtown remains the number one focus.

Bridge Street and the Carrington Pavilion may look pretty bare right now, but this weekend, hundreds of Southside residents will pack them out with the third annual River District Festival.

"Plenty to do for sure and it's all free," said Will Sanford, River District Festival coordinator.

They have more than 50 vendors from across the region, rides and activities for children, and plenty of live entertainment all day.

"We'll finish the night with out headliner, which is Juliet Simms," said Sanford. " She was the 2012 runner up on the popular show, The Voice."

A big part of this year's festival is fitness, they have three races planned.

"This adds a whole new dimension to the River District Festival," said Russell Carter, Communications Specialist for Danville Parks and Recreation. "It's not just come and stop, come and hang out. We're celebrating all things River District, and certainly you don't have this district without the runs on the Riverwalk Trial and on Main Street."

But the main purpose of the festival is to increase enthusiasm about the recent of growth of the River District. So this year coordinators decided to bring the festival to the heart of where revitalization is taking place, Main Street.

"One of the biggest things to help drive business downtown or anywhere is foot traffic and by having a festival located downtown and in the River District, it increases the amount of people and the area and potentially increases the sales," said Jeffrey Bond, President of the Downtown Danville Association

Which is a bonus for downtown businesses.

"I think we'll get a lot of buzz, a lot of traffic and the weather is supposed to be beautiful, so we're excited," said Adam Jones, owner of The Brick Running and Tri Store.

There will be some detours this weekend. Main Street will be blocked off from 5:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. on Friday. Bridge Street will be blocked off from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturday.

For all things River District Festival, visit their website .