Troy welcomes Mumford stopover


The Mumford and Sons’ Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Tour officially starts tonight, but the party kicked off Thursday night with music from regional acts filling streets decked out for the much-anticipated celebration.

Troy put its best mustache forward for the event expected to draw 40,000 music and festival fans.

Nearly every downtown business displayed an image of the band, the tour or/and a mustache, a symbol of the Grammy- Award winning English folk rock act.

Troy Memorial Stadium gates open for the Gentlemen of the Road mainstage at 4 p.m. with the first act starting at 6 p.m. Two-day passport tickets are $120 at the gate.

Downtown street fair music starts at 10.30 a.m. Admission is free with Gentlemen of the Road passport tickets. It is $5 per day for those without passport tickets.

There are 40 food vendors and several restaurants and other businesses set up shop outdoors Thursday. Favorite treats from the Strawberry Festival, including chocolate covered strawberries from the American Legion and strawberry doughnuts from Troy High School Marching Band , were for sale.

Steve McLain and his wife Margaret Begg, owners of Bakehouse Bread and Cookie Company, decorated their windows with mustache-shaped bread.

“I am confident, as are a lot of people, that it is going to mean a huge, huge boost in national exposure, a boost for merchants downtown and elsewhere,” McLain said. “The last six months, the (city) has been buzzing with anticipation, and that only intensified as we have gotten closer to the date, and here we are.”

Fans flocked in from six countries and 48 states, packing streets and downtown restaurants and bars, including The Caroline where co-owner Melanie Elsass-Smith donned a homemade mustache earring and necklace set. About 10,000 fans camped out Thursday..

Erica McGrath of Pittsburgh has followed Mumford and Sons since hearing “Sigh No More,” the group’s debut album, two years ago.

“I was hooked. It was awesome,” McGrath said. She’s at the festival with her mother Reyne Jabloski.

Amy Knight drove two hours from Cambridge, Ohio to attend the show .

“The sound is universal,” she said of Mumford and Sons music. “It is just good music.”

Karin Manovich, executive director of Troy Main Street Inc., said the weekend-long festivities have helped put Troy on the map. Music lovers are expected to spend $20 million during the stopover.

“It has been a huge economic impact,” she said. “It is a huge marketing opportunity for Troy as a city and downtown in particular.”

Troy is a well-kept secret that now has a chance in the spotlight, she said, noting that many people — including some from surrounding communities — are not familiar with Troy or its eclectic downtown.

Laurie Winans Reiser of Winans Chocolates and Coffees invested thousands in improvements to her business in the months leading up to the festival. She called the festival a game changer.

“What I didn’t expect is how close it has brought the community,” she said.

Al Mescher, a Troy resident most of his life, has not seen as much excitement in the city since Elvis played Troy in 1956.

He lived in Versailles at the time and missed the Elvis show. Mescher and his wife volunteered for the Mumford-related festivities.

“This is fantastic,” Mescher said. “We just wanted to see it.”

Sisters Lauren and Lindsey Holloway of West Virginia are camping for the festival.

The sisters stopped by Winans Fine Chocolates and Coffees on Thursday afternoon, and said they were impressed with Troy.

“It’s a neat little town and I like it a lot, ” Lauren Holloway said.

Diana Scheib, co-owner of Expressions of the Home, said the festival changed the city for the better.

“I think it kind of raises the bar,” she said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Springfield High hosts unique college fair
Springfield High hosts unique college fair

Springfield High School students were exposed to a one-of-a-kind college fair this week. Twelve Historically Black Colleges and Universities were present at the first HBCU Day, including Norfolk State, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical, Fisk, Spelman, Howard, Central State and Wilberforce universities. These schools were created to serve the African-American...
AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young dead at 64
AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young dead at 64

Rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, the co-founder of the rock ’n’ roll group AC/DC, died Saturday, Rolling Stone reported and the band announced on its website. He was 64. Young had been suffering from dementia for the past three years, which forced his retirement from the band that he founded with his brother Angus Young in 1973...
Texas residents find mail dumped near sewer drain
Texas residents find mail dumped near sewer drain

Residents in a Texas neighborhood are angry that their mail apparently has been going down the drain. Brenda Tisdale was walking her dogs in a southwest neighborhood in Mesquite when she noticed a few clean, white pieces of paper in a sewer drain, KTVT reported. “I was thinking, ‘that’s where all of our mail has gone,&rsquo...
Mugabe refuses to step down as Zimbabwe’s president
Mugabe refuses to step down as Zimbabwe’s president

Thousands of Zimbabwe residents marched in the streets of Harare on Saturday, demanding the resignation of President Robert Mugabe, CNN reported. The protests in the capital city occurred days after the 93-year-old president was put under house arrest by the army, which also detained some of his key political allies. Mugabe has been Zimbabwe&rsquo...
Happy birthday: Co-workers buy car for fellow employee 
Happy birthday: Co-workers buy car for fellow employee 

A Michigan man will never forget his 19th birthday, thanks to the generosity of his co-workers, WJRT reported. Noah Robinson had been riding his bicycle to work from Saginaw to Kochville Township, pedaling the 6 ½ miles in 45 minutes regardless of the weather conditions. He works in the shipping department at Glastender and lives with his...
More Stories