The 2022 Ashland City Summerfest, held at Riverbluff Park and sponsored by The Ashland City Parks and Recreation Department, ran June 7-11. With several thousand festival goers in attendance, the annual celebration, now in its 26th year, was another sign of life getting back to normal after two years of restrictions and isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each night of the event featured games, rides, craft and information booths, and live music, with the closing night of the festival offering a live fireworks display.

The event drew visitors from all over Middle Tennessee.

The Greer family from Burns makes the festival an annual family outing and young Wayne Greer especially enjoys the carnival food. “I like the corndogs and fries. Yummy!” he said.

Besides rides, games, and music, the festival had numerous booths from local businesses, candidates, churches, and civic organizations wanting to connect with the public.

Summerfest provided fun and a celebration of life not only for festival goers but the organizers and entertainment, as well.

Cheatham County music group The Stephen Randall band closed out the last night of Summerfest. Performing together for 10 years, the group has played at Summerfest for several years and was happy to see local residents enjoying pre-pandemic activities.

Lead singer and guitarist Stephen Boyd said, “It’s a taste of normalcy that we all want to get back to. We hadn’t seen everyone in a year. We love this gig. They’ve got everything we need. It’s very easy and convenient. The social aspect and everyone getting together is more important than the rides and the music. It’s getting to see your friends and meet new people.”

Drummer Charley Grubbs reflected on the importance of events like this to bring people together in a world with so much division.

“It’s a revelation of the greater good. We are much closer collectively than we are apart, and this is a representation of it. We can have a difference of opinion. Events like this are more proof that we are all closer than we are apart. America is strong and America is good, and Summerfest is good people having a good time, and I am appreciative of it,” Grubbs said.