County green lights Old Settlers’ festival permit
By Miles Smith
All systems are go for the eagerly anticipated Old Settlers Music Festival slated for April 18-22 after Caldwell County Commissioners unanimously approved its festival permit application at a special meeting held March 15.
The event will be held at land purchased specifically to be the festival’s permanent home at 1616 FM 3158 in Dale.
“They’ve made a substantial investment in property in Caldwell County,” said Martin Ritchey, chief of the county’s office of emergency management prior to the court’s approval.
The vote was a historic one: Commissioners gave approval to a permit for the largest festival ever held in the county. Roughly 14,000 people are projected to attend, with 2,500 campers staying on the land during the duration of the festival.
Event organizers said different days would attract different crowds, so the projected 14,000 attendees would actually look more like an average of 5,000 or so per day.
Festival planner Jean Spivey said everyone was gearing up for the event.
“We will be ready for it,” said Spivey, whose event leans heavily on the backs of volunteers. “We had about 1,000 come out and brave the rain last month to check out our open house, and I think that was a pretty good test run.”
Judge Pro Tem Joe Roland said after the meeting that he was glad to have the festival and its organizers in the county, crediting them with planning and doing things the right way.
“They are truly a stand-up group,” Roland said. “We welcome them to Caldwell County.”