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Deep Roots Festival “looks promising” for later this year

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The Deep Roots Festival recently posted a graphic on its website, complete with a date for its 2021 festival, as well as a somewhat cryptic “this looks promising” quote in the top left corner.

The 2020 festival was cancelled, marking the first time since 2004 that there wasn’t a Sweetwater/Deep Roots festival in downtown Milledgeville. Carlee Schulte, executive director of Milledgeville MainStreet, said that she and other festival organizers are “hoping for the best.”

“If things continue to improve, as far as COVID vaccinations and cases, we plan on getting back to normal,” she said. “But obviously, things can change between now and then.”

This year’s event is set for Oct. 23, which is right around the festival’s usual sweet spot in the fall. Prior to the pandemic, the plan was to expand Deep Roots to Friday and Saturday, as opposed to just Saturday, which has always been the tradition. That plan, however, now must wait until at least 2022, as this year’s festival will just be a one-day deal.

Most of the festival’s primary components – the arts and crafts vendors, the car show, the kids zone, etc. – are conducive to social distancing and wouldn’t be a major challenge, Schulte said. The music main stage, though, is the one area that’d be more complicated, in terms of social distancing and safety.

Meanwhile, Schulte said that First Fridays are still cancelled until further notice. A full year has now elapsed since the last downtown First Friday was held. Calling an audible, MainStreet last month launched its “Second Saturday Sidewalk Sale,” which Schulte said is here to stay.

“We received positive feedback from our downtown businesses. It’s a way to still support downtown businesses, but in a more scaled-down and less crowded way,” she said.