Thousands flock downtown for CMA Music Festival - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Thousands flock downtown for CMA Music Festival

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The sounds of the CMA Music Festival infiltrated Nashville long before the main events.

Thousands of people packed downtown Nashville on Wednesday, one day before the festivities officially begin.

Free shows, funky footwork, and many, many cowboy boots lined Broadway. Tourists from around the globe flock to Music City during this highly-anticipated week. A group of fans from the Big Apple bought matching straw hats before they hit the town for the first time in their lives.

"Yeah, we're blending in," said Katie Coyne, a country music fan from New York.

"I gave them a 1-800 number, I said 'Call, pay your money, we can go down in June,'" said another New York native.

Vendors lined the streets selling everything from food to tickets. Several musical acts played at the Riverfront Park for free. Blake Shelton even performed one song outside Bridgestone Arena before the CMT Music Awards.

Dozens of companies spent the day setting up inside Music City Center for Fan Fair X - an event that lets fans interact with their favorite stars. More than 500 artists will visit the convention center, ready to sign autographs and answer questions. Daily tickets cost $10, but if you're looking to return over the next four days, a pass costs $25.

The event encompasses much more than music. Some vendors hope to include the whole family when they get played out on music. A booth lets people accessorize and design their own crafts.

"Yes, we've got camo, bracelets, and some cowboy boots," said Samantha Booth, with Joann Fabric and Craft.

If you're feeling lucky, you can bowl against the stars. The social mobile network X Bowling set up two lanes inside Music City Center for fans to compete with celebrities.

For many locals, attending the CMA Music Festival - formerly known as Fan Fair - has become a tradition.

Eve Freeman, of Hendersonville, has participated in the festivities for 30 consecutive years.

"As long as my two feet carry me, I'm going to be here," Freeman said.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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