Monday, November 30, 2015

Ticket Sales Slow For 35th Annual Hank Williams Festival
By Amanda Wade

In Georgiana, the sweet sounds of country music are headed to Hank Williams hometown, but will anyone be there to hear it?

The 35th Annual Hank Williams Festival is just hours away. However, ticket sales are slow.

Last year, nearly 1,500 people came to the festival. Right now, between 400 and 450 tickets are sold, "We used to have a lot more than we do now. Several years ago, we would have 3,000 and 4,000 people. When George Jones was here, I think we had about 5,000," says Ann Browder, Secretary Treasurer of the Hank Williams Museum Board.

John Conlee, Gene Watson, and newcomer Donica Knight are performing. Hilary Williams, Hank Williams' granddaughter, is also performing for the first time ever at the festival, "Several years ago, we had Hank Williams III here and our crowd was just immense, so we're hoping that Hilary's going to bring us that crowd and we're proud to have her," says Browder. 

RV parks throughout the city sold out two months ago; many for the entire week. Bringing an economic boost to businesses in the area, "We stock all of our groceries from the local markets and Fred's if we need stuff, you know. And surround areas, not only here, but you know, Greenville's 15 miles, you know, it's a boom for the economy," says James Hastings, who comes to the festival with his family each year.

Nearly $50,000 has been spent on the festival. Georgiana Mayor Jerome Antone says it should pay for itself.     

Tickets are $15 at the gates Friday, and $25 on Saturday.