More than 5,000 people expected for 8th annual Rooster Walk & Arts Festival

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HENRY COUNTY (WSLS 10) - As soon as the gates opened Thursday morning, people began setting up to enjoy a weekend full of music and festivities.

"It's a brilliant idea," said Tami Stone, as she and her friends worked to get their campsite set up. "I think it might be the next Woodstock."

While there certainly will be plenty of music, Rooster Walk Co-Founder Johnny Buck said the goal is to make the event as family friendly as possible and to appeal to a wide variety of musical tastes.

"We've got a ton of kids activities. We've got a ton of outdoor activities. We've got Lettuce as a funk headliner from Boston, Sam Bush is a progressive bluegrass band from Tennessee. Then, we also have jam bands, blues bands, rock n' roll," explained Buck.

The festival's impact stretches beyond the festival itself. Part of the proceeds go towards fixing up old instruments and then donating those instruments to Martinsville and Henry County Schools.

"This flute was donated. It went through the Rooster Walk program," said Kevin Lewis, Laurel Park Middle School Band Director, holding open a case containing the flute.

He said this program gives kids important opportunities to be involved at school.

"It creates traditions and a sense of community that can do nothing but improve the overall health of the school, the community, and it's just a great thing to be a part of," said Lewis.

Some of the festival's proceeds are also used to give a scholarship to a Martinsville High School senior each year.

Buck graduated from Martinsville High School and came up with the idea for the festival in 2009 with a group of friends after two of their other friends passed away.

"It keeps Walker's and Edwin's memory alive, which means a lot to us," said Buck.

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