NORFOLK, Va. - While cowboy boots, hats and smiling faces are making a big presence in the Mermaid City because of the Patriotic Festival, Seven Venues has announced that Friday’s activities at Town Point Park have been canceled due to inclement weather arriving earlier than expected.
As a result, changes have been continuously made to the Patriotic Festival's lineup of concerts and events.
Additionally, the times for the afternoon concerts at Town Point Park have changed.
Cultivated Minds performed from noon to 1 p.m. The Wailers performed from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Vendors and sponsor activities ended by 3 p.m. Friday.
News 3 reporter Kelsey Jones spoke with some attendees who are excited about the festival being in Norfolk - and others, not so much.
"Oh my gosh, yes - I'm so excited, and then you get to bring the downtown energy to the Scope, and it's so much fun," said one festival attendee.
The three-day country music festival is making its debut in Norfolk after being held in Virginia Beach for years.
"It's so heartbreaking that the outdoor stuff was canceled today, but it just builds up the hype for tomorrow."
Friday night’s weather is raining on attendees' parade - literally - causing festival organizers to cancel many of Friday's events.
One woman who has been attending the festival for 15 years is not so thrilled that it was moved from the beach.
"I'm not used to doing it indoors; I'm used to doing it on the beach, so it's a big change in how they're doing it, so I'm not too happy about it," said Brenda Billing.
Organizers said they moved the event to Norfolk because of the need for indoor space.
The move is bringing high hopes to businesses in Downtown Norfolk, including Baxter's Sports Bar.
"It's been a pretty good crowd. I feel like we're expecting a bigger crowd after it's over, so I can't wait," said Baxter's employee Ahnri Walker.
With the festival making its big return after the pandemic, staff at Baxter's said they're gearing up for the crowds.
"We do have everyone on deck. Everyone that can be here is here, and we're fully staffed," said Skylar Lewis, another employee at Baxter's.
Friday night, country star Jon Pardi performed at the Scope. Saturday night, events will take place along Waterside Drive, including a performance by Kane Brown, and Sunday evening's concert will have Morgan Wallen performing to a sold-out crowd.
"It's really nice. It brings the life back from the pandemic, and this makes it feel normal again," attendees told News 3.
When it comes to security, organizers said there is a detailed plan with help from Norfolk Police, as well as private security. Baxter's employees said they will have security at the door as they monitor foot traffic.