Sponsored by the Village of Royal Palm Beach.
West Fest is back.
The event, one of the most popular in Royal Palm Beach through the 2010s, returns this Friday through Sunday after a hiatus because of COVID-19. Admission is free.
“This is my third year here but the first time West Fest will be held since I started,” says Sylvio Pierre-Louis, Royal Palm Beach’s events and facilities manager. “We’re bringing it back because it’s one of the most popular events for the western communities.”
5 to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday
Royal Palm Beach Commons Park, 11600 Poinciana Blvd.
Free on site. The village also encourages people to walk, bike or carpool.
Food and activities
The family-friendly festival includes a kids’ fun zone, carnival rides, Western-style performers, homemade barbecue, lumberjack shows, a petting zoo, ax throwing, more than 40 Western-themed arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, and the Swamp Bar.
The Miss West Fest and Mr. West Fest pageants are open to all ages and take place at the Commons Park amphitheater.
Saturday is West Fest’s primary day. Train rides, pony rides and hayrides occur throughout the afternoon and evening. A chili cook-off starts at 2 p.m., with a wheelbarrow race at 3, a sack race at 4 and a Toby Keith tribute act on the main stage at 6:30. Headliner Homegrown, a Zac Brown Band tribute act, closes the night starting at 8:30.
Chili chefs can register to compete by calling 561-401-3643 or emailing the Parkside Cafe in Royal Palm Beach at firstname.lastname@example.org. Talking to the Palms West Journal in early January, Pierre-Louis said nearly a dozen people had signed up for the chili cook-off.
Sunday, the action continues on the carnival rides and in the bounce house, as well as on the main stage with music by the Andrew Morris Band at 2:30 p.m. and by Wide Open, a Jason Aldean tribute act, at 4:30.
The weekend’s music includes tribute acts to country stars Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, the Zac Brown Band and Jason Aldean, plus country and rock favorites the Andrew Morris Band and Southern rock tribute act Southern Blood.
Southern Blood closed Royal Palm Beach’s Fall Concert Nights in mid-December. So lead singer Jimi Robinette, guitarist/vocalists Thiago and Greg Smolla, bassist Alan Vine, and drummer Rodrigo Valente are stepping onto familiar terrain when they take the main stage at Commons Park at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
“We’ve all been in bands down here forever as full-time musicians,” Robinette says. “We’re a Southern rock band that plays mostly material from the late ’60s and the ’70s.”
After Southern Blood’s set of cover songs, mostly by artists from Florida (Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special, Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot) and Georgia (Allman Brothers Band, Black Crowes, Blackberry Smoke), Play It Again starts at 8:30. The Florida-based Luke Bryan tribute act is named for one of the country artist’s hit songs.
Though he’s only in his early 30s, Jacksonville-born, Port St. Lucie-based Andrew Morris’ band is in its 13th year.
Lead vocalist/guitarist Morris can call out original songs from the group’s 2018 debut CD, “A Long Time Comin’,” pop covers including The Eagles, Tom Petty and the Marshall Tucker Band, and country hits ranging from Chris Stapleton and the Zac Brown Band to Johnny Cash and Travis Tritt.
Bring lawn chairs and a blanket. Apply sunscreen before leaving the house and reapply while there. Bring lots of water for yourself, your family and friends.
561-753-1232 or royalpalmbeach.com