If you like music of all kinds and enjoy listening to entertaining story tellers, the RiverRoots Music and Folk Arts Festival is an event you won't want to miss this weekend.

Bicentennial Park and the riverfront are ready to host the party that is expected to draw large crowds on Friday and Saturday.

Visitors will find musical performances as diverse as the crowd. There is bluegrass, Celtic, blues, folk, gospel and some music that defies a label. What all of the music has in common is that it is performed by superb musicians.

Performers include some well-known musicians and some who are introducing themselves to the Madison area for the first time.

As in the past, there will be entertaining story tellers to complement the music and jam sessions that are open to the public. The Folk Art Village will highlight life in the 1800s with activities for all ages.

New this year is a beer tent featuring craft brews from several micro-breweries along with a competition for home brewers.

And, of course, there will be plenty of good food and drink.

The music will be non-stop this year with 14 acts performing on two stages.

The festival begins at 6 p.m. Friday and continues non-stop until the Black Lillies wrap up the night with their performance at 9:30. On Saturday, the music resumes at 1 p.m. with music and other activities lasting until Rusted Root goes on stage at 9 p.m.

Weekend passes are $25 through Thursday. Tickets at the gate are $30 and are good for both days. Children 12 and younger are free. To get tickets in advance, visit the festival website at www.riverroots.org. for a list of ticket outlets or call (812) 559-2956.

We hope to see you on the riverfront. It promises to be an enjoyable beginning to Madison's superb festival season.