The Current Vibe will headline the 2017 Dancing on Main Street festival this Saturday in downtown Amherst.
The band features Dann Swift, who has played at the one-day festival for 13 years but until now always took the stage during sunlight hours.
Now he’s going to help rock the party during its busiest time, when thousands fill the streets to share beers and dance the night away.
The Roadhouse Band will provide entertainment earlier in the day during its family-friendly time from 3-7 p.m. After helping launching Dancing on Main Street, the band returns after more than a decade away.
There will be bounce houses, games, and face painting at two sites: Amherst Congregational United Church of Christ will run the kids events at the green space on Church Street, while Family Fellowship Foursquare Church will provide activities on Park Avenue.
Festival sponsor Main Street Amherst will also hold special games for kids every 30 minutes starting at 3 p.m. in front of the main stage.
The 2017 festival will feature new food vendors with Firehouse Grilling Company and Pig in a Dirndl, plus returning favorites such as Midway Oh Boy.
Businesses will have extended hours and offer specials throughout the day and night.
Teresa Gilles, director of Main Street Amherst, said the festival has become a huge boost to retailers such as The Mermaid’s Tale, Etc., and Sandstone Candleworks, and showcase newer establishments such as The Brew Kettle and Cole’s Public House.
Music and dancing is the name of the game, but the first Saturday of August has also become the number one sales day of the year for downtown Amherst taverns, surpassing stand-bys such as Thanksgiving Eve and the Super Bowl.
Beer will flow and a special permit allows adults to enjoy it in the streets. Wine and liquor can be served inside licensed establishments but has to stay inside.
Event volunteers are working with police to make sure no one who is underage gets served. That includes training on asking for and verifying IDs as well as how to cut off drinkers who are at their limit.