Mossy Oak Music Park in Guyton is the pride of the Rose and Lanier families.
As they and the staff prepare for their festival next week, Allen Lanier had this to say: “If your taste in music is country, then it’s Broadway Street in Nashville; for blues it’s Beale Street in Memphis; and if it’s jazz music you prefer, then it’s Bourbon Street in New Orleans; but, if it’s traditional bluegrass and gospel music you like most then you need go no farther than the Old Louisville Road here in Guyton and the Mossy Oak Music Park.”
Next week they are celebrating their 12th anniversary and hosting their 34th bluegrass festival at the park.
“We’re expecting about 4,000 folks over the festival’s five days and more than 500 motor homes and campers,” said Rebecca Rose, who along with her family and their band, The Lonesome Whistle Band, host the large event.
The festival begins with a covered dish supper on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. and concludes with a worship service Sunday morning. The three days between those two have eight of the nation’s top bluegrass bands performing.
“We purposely set aside time every day for local and area artists to perform on our big stage with professional lighting and sound,” Rose added. Her brother, Doug, is responsible for the huge sound system required and her dad, Allen Lanier, helps with managing the staff and park preparations.
Among those appearing Oct. 18 are Little Roy and Lizzy Long, Goldwing Express, and Constant Change. Performing Friday will be Goldwing Express, Ralph Stanley II, The Suggins Brothers, Constant Change, and The Lonesome Whistle Band, which hosts the big five-day event.
Featured on Saturday are Dailey & Vincent, The Suggins Brothers, and The Bluegrass Brothers.
The program at the 34-acre park runs from noon to 10 p.m. each day. The handicap-accessible park has a full kitchen, on-site indoor flea market, playground, craft vendors, ample parking, clean restrooms, and many other amenities all in an alcohol and drug-free family-oriented atmosphere.
“We’re so pleased that at each festival we have more and more first-time visitors to Effingham and surrounding area. Our success is in no small way because of our story being told in magazines like Bluegrass Unlimited, Effingham Living, Effingham Magazine, Georgia Magazine; newspapers like The Spirit, Effingham Herald, Effingham Now, and the Savannah Morning News; bluegrass radio stations in Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, and the Carolinas are certainly a part of that, too,” said Doug Lanier.
“The support we receive from Sheriff Jimmy McDuffy, Hospital Administrator Norman Jean Morgan, and Rick Lott at the Chamber of Commerce and their staffs is so important to helping us meet the needs of so many folks,” Lanier added.
“Our county commission, the Guyton mayor and city council, and the businesses and service providers in Guyton and all across the county make Effingham so appealing and friendly our visitors naturally want to come back,” Allen Lanier added.
The park, incidentally, has been named one of the most visitor-friendly bluegrass music venues in the Southeast.
On Oct. 20, the City of Guyton hosts a city-wide “Sale On the Trail” rummage sale in conjunction with the big festival.
Also that Saturday, Mossy Oak Music Park will co-host with the YMCA a special breast cancer awareness walk and the several hundred who will be part of that walk will salute cancer survivors, provide additional information, and raise funds for breast cancer research in efforts to find a cure.
“We’re inviting the public to wear something pink and to join us on Saturday for the Walk as we ‘Paint the Park Pink’ in our efforts to help find a cure,” Rebecca Rose said.
Daily adult tickets for Thursday and Friday are $20; Saturday is $25; half-price for ages 12-15; and there is no charge for children under 12. The park is located at 533 Old Louisville Road in Guyton. For more information, call 772-5142 or 772-3467 or visit the Park at www.mossyoakmusicpark.com.