By Matt Clevenger
For the Miami Valley Today
TIPP CITY — Local music will be the theme for this year’s Tipp Canal Music Festival, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 12, at the Tipp City Park.
“We just decided we were going to go all local, all night,” Festival Co-Chair Amy Barr said. “All of the bands are local. Not only are they local, but most of them have a direct connection to Tipp City.”
In it’s 11th year, the annual Canal Music Festival features food and beer trucks, live music and other family-friendly activities. The festival will open at 4 p.m., and music from local artists Stranger, Seconds 2 Surrender, Zach Nelson and The Redman-Haas Band will start at 5:30 p.m.
“Stranger is our headliner this year,” Barr said. “Their lead singer is a Tipp City native. Zach Nelson is also a Tipp City graduate. The Redman-Haas band, all but one are Tipp City natives and have been playing in this area since the 70s.”
“This is a different year,” she said. “We typically bring in a large tribute band, and they are often from out of state or out of the country. There’s just a real kind of hometown connection with the bands this year. Seconds 2 Surrender are out of Cincinnati, but other than that, they are all local.”
No coolers or backpacks will be permitted at the festival, but food and beer trucks will be available starting at 4 p.m., including Billie Gold Bubble Tea, Bolanski’s Kettle Corn, G’s Cue BBQ, Kona Ice, Mommaz Boyz, Raging Bull Wood-Fired Pizza, Skull Dollz Face Painting, Susie’s Big Dipper and others.
As always, the Canal Music Festival will be free and open to the public. “Our main objective was to have a music event that we could provide that would be free,” Barr said. “That is something that we have carried through. We are still dedicated to keeping it a free event for the community.”
The festival is organized by the Tipp City Area Arts Council. Sponsors for this year’s festival include Edison State Community College, Matt Buehrer/Thrivent Financial, Regal, Joseph Airport Toyota Hyundai, Hamler-Gingrich Insurance, Park National Bank, Tipp Center, Premier Health/Upper Valley Medical Center and many others.
“We wouldn’t be able to do this,” Barr said. “We don’t make money on this event; we barely break even, and that’s okay.”
Known for drawing large crowds, the Canal Music Festival usually attracts several thousand visitors each year, depending on the weather. “It varies,” Barr said. “I think our largest crowd has been about 4,000.”
The festival was canceled last year due to COVID; this year it will be held rain or shine. “We opted to cancel last year,” Barr said. “It was really hard to do. It was hard, but I guess in the big picture, it was the best thing to do.”
“We’re pretty determined we’re going to do this rain or shine,” she said of this year’s festival. “The only reason we would cancel would be if it’s an electrical storm or tornados. Other than that, if it just ends up sprinkling, we’re going to go on.”
“People just need something to do,” she said.
The Tipp Canal Music Festival will start at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 12, at the Tipp City Park. More information on this and other Tipp City Area Arts Council events can be found online at tippcityartscouncil.com.