16th HILLarity features food, rides, music, antiques expert

CHESTER -- The 16th annual HILLarity festival kicks off today with nationally known antiques expert Harry Rinker appraising collectibles from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at 101 Main St. Tickets will be available at the door.

Here are some other downtown events to check out over the next two days:


From 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the hilltop stage, the band Riff Raff will play Southern rock from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Children's inflatable rides and food vendors also will be on hand.


• 9:45 a.m. -- At the hilltop stage, the day begins with the presentation of colors by the Chester High School JROTC, the singing of the national anthem and a welcome from Chester Mayor Mitch Foster.

• 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- Rinker's back appraising antiques at the same place.

• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- Look for a health fair on the courthouse lawn with free blood pressure checks and visit about 10 vendors.

A bicycle safety program also will be held in front of the Federal Building on Main Street. Children can get free helmets.

• 12:30 p.m. -- A pet show will be held in the amphitheater

Entertainment will be offered on two stages. From 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., the country group, The Tara Allison Band, will perform on the hilltop stage. During the band's breaks, local entertainers iCande, Legends, the Rev. Heywood Boyd with Angela Boyd and the Pappy Watts Band will perform.

Meanwhile, beginning at 10 a.m., the valley stage will showcase performers C&W Chorale, Elvis impersonator Justin Pryor, Living Message, Jerrell White, Voices of Judah, the Country Grass Band, the Chester Youth Development Foundation/TOP Steppers, Natasha and the Scotland County Ensemble and the Straight Shot Band.

Also look for craft vendors, information booths, giveaways and pony rides.