Fall is in the air, and that means it’s time for one of Effingham’s largest and premier musical events.
The Rebecca Rose Memorial 43rd Bluegrass and Gospel Music Festival runs Oct. 14-18. Visitors to the 34-acre park will enjoy bluegrass and gospel music done in the traditional acoustic style, as well as great high lonesome vocal harmonies.
This year’s October festival is again dedicated to cancer survivors. The theme and efforts of the staff and more than 2,500 visitors expected is to “Paint the Park Pink” in efforts to help find a cure.
“In May we set an attendance record, and we’re expecting and preparing for what looks as if it’s going to be another great crowd,” said Doug Lanier, who with his father, Allen Lanier, and their family have hosted the festivals on their family farm, two miles from historic Guyton, since 2002.
The award-winning, family-oriented park provides campsites for more than 500 motor homes, trailers and tents. Music fans who frequent the bluegrass festival circuit declared Mossy Oak Music Park one of the “best outdoor music venues in the Southeast.”
“The great lineup of entertainers we’ll have next week includes 10 of the very best among all touring bluegrass bands. They’re coming to entertain us from Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, Tennessee and the Carolinas.” Lanier said. “Once again we have a number of International Bluegrass Music Association music award winners in our lineup.”
Among those on this year’s program are such noted performers as Little Roy Lewis and Lizzie Long, Adkins and Loudermilk, Goldwing Express, Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, Barefoot Nellie and Co., The Suggins Brothers, Kody Norris, Kevin Prater Band, King James 1611 Boys, Sometimes Later Band, and others.
Members of each of our military branches will be again be recognized and our special guest and Rincon’s own 90-year-old retired U.S. Marine Sgt. Neal Corbin will present the colors during the ceremony that has become a special part at each festival.
The park has a covered theater/pavilion that seats more than 700, a large lighted handicap accessible parking area, an on-site daily flea market, a full kitchen, playground, museum, snack shack, bath house with washer and dryer, vendors, dump stations, and a number of other amenities, including free Bingo for all every morning from 10 a.m.-noon. Pets and golf carts are welcome.
“Everything our courteous staff and dedicated volunteers do here is focused on making our guests feel welcome and well-entertained. So, if it’s that traditional and unique bluegrass and southern gospel music sound, in an alcohol and drug-free environment, folks like then we have a great place for them. Bring along a lawn chair and then just sit back, relax, and enjoy yourself,” Allen Lanier said.
The five-day festival program, now in its fourteenth year, begins with a covered dish supper Wednesday at 6 p.m., followed by an “open stage” that provides local talent an opportunity to showcase their singing and musical skills beginning at 7 p.m. Music starts at 1 p.m. each day and runs to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The park also provides a courtesy van on Saturday to and from the big city-wide “Sale Along the Trail” yard sale in historic downtown Guyton.
Next week’s big festival will conclude with a special gospel music presentation and worship service on Sunday at 8:30 a.m., led by nationally recognized and well-traveled evangelists Mike and Mary Robinson from New England.
Daily tickets are: Thursday $20, Friday and Saturday $25, or $50 for the full five days; half price for children 12-15; and those under 12 are free.
Camping with hookups are $20-$25 per night. Tent camping is $5 per night.
For camping reservations and additional information call 772-5142 or 772-3467, or visit the Park on the Web at www.mossyoakmusicpark.com or on Facebook.