By Jan White and Chris Edwards
GRAPELAND – Get ready for a weekend full of entertainment as Salmon Lake Park celebrates its 46th Annual Bluegrass Festival.
The annual festival has been a hotly anticipated event for lovers of bluegrass music, nationwide, and is traditionally held on Labor Day weekend. The festival lasts Sept. 1-4, with the music beginning on Thursday, onstage, at 1 p.m. and running daily each day until 10 p.m. On Sunday, the last day of the festival, it lasts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The jam-packed event started early, as attendees gathered on Monday, August 29, to join in the week’s activities, which begin daily with Daily Devotionals, and “Get Moving With Julie” exercises.
Guests can attend banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and guitar workshops, craft and painting classes, participate in the Golf Cart and “Pooch Parade,” and enjoy lots of pickin’, strummin’ throughout the day that ends in evening concerts performed by some of the top bluegrass vocalists from across the country.
Some of the performers scheduled for this year’s festival include Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out; High Fidelity; The Price Sisters and Caleb & Abby.
As the festival is in year 46, it has become known as one of the premier bluegrass happenings in the country. It is a rain-or-shine event, and not even disaster can stop it from happening.
Last year, during Memorial Day weekend, the dam broke, due to excessive rainfall in the region, and caused the lake to flood, which damaged the park and the stage used for the festival.
Thanks to plenty of community support and helping hands, the dam was rebuilt in 10 days, and the festival was a go, after all.
Organizers of the festival want to remind everyone, “Don’t forget to bring your spending money (cash) for chances on a Mossman Guitar, delicious and delightful food from the food trucks, souvenirs of your favorite band, festival caps and T-shirts, craft and paint classes, donations for the KY Relief fund, and merchandise from all the other exciting vendors.
Tickets to the event are $70 for a weekend pass, and daily tickets are $25. Children under 15 are admitted free with an adult, and Sunday is free. Organizers recommend heading out to the park with lawnchairs, and to be prepared for a fantastic time. The park is located at 247 Salmon Lake Road in Grapeland.