FOLK FEST: The Carolina Chocolate Drops (from left), Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson entertain a large crowd during the 2010 Ohio River Valley Folk Festival at Bicentennial Park. (Courier file photo by Ken Ritchie)
FOLK FEST: The Carolina Chocolate Drops (from left), Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson entertain a large crowd during the 2010 Ohio River Valley Folk Festival at Bicentennial Park. (Courier file photo by Ken Ritchie)
The fifth annual RiverRoots Music and Folk Arts Festival Halfway Party takes place this weekend to benefit the annual summer festival.

The Halfway Party will feature live music by Bluegrazz Junction and Jessi Curtis, as well as feature craft brew beer tasting, arts and crafts, raffles and more at The Livery Stable, 313 Broadway St., on Saturday. The event begins at 7 p.m.

Heather Burress, the RiverRoots Music and Folk Arts Festival special events committee co-chair, said the event will feature beers from four breweries throughout Indiana, as well as feature glassworks by Seth Bickis and jewelry by Kriss Ziesemer, as well as other arts and crafts.

"We're trying to create a mini-festival atmosphere," Burress said of the party.

So far, the RiverRoots Music and Folk Arts Festival organizers have announced the Saturday headliner, who will be a returning performer to the festival.

The Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, a string band from North Carolina featuring Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens and Hubby Jenkins, will return to the festival after an international tour that took the group throughout Europe and across the United States.

"I really have to say the Carolina Chocolate Drops stole the show," Burress said of their performance two years ago.

The summer festival, which is registered as a 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization, will be shortened from three days to a two-day festival, Burress said.

"We're going to concentrate on getting the best acts possible," Burress said.

While the RiverRoots Music and Folk Arts Festival is kid-friendly with family activities throughout the weekend, the RiverRoots Halfway Party is for adults age 21 and over.

"This is for Mom and Dad and adults to come out and have a good time," Burress said.

Admission to the Halfway Party is $10 at the door. Proceeds will benefit the RiverRoots Music and Folk Arts Festival, which will be held on the riverfront May 17 and 18. The two-day summer event feature will folk music, storytellers, folk artists and other activities near Bicentennial Park on Vaughn Drive.

Additional information about the festival, including a full line-up of musical guests, will be released at a later date and will be available at www.riverroots.org.