For those who appreciate acoustic music played in the best traditional bluegrass and gospel style, Guyton is the place to be from April 16-20 for the 38th Bluegrass Festival at the award-wining, 34-acre Mossy Oak Music Park. The park is located at 519 Old Louisville Rd.
“In October we set another attendance record and we are expecting and, in fact, preparing for what looks to be another large crowd,” said Doug Lanier, who with his late sister, Rebecca Rose, her husband Russell, and father Allen Lanier and family, have hosted the festivals on their family farm two miles out of historic Guyton since 2002.
The park, the vision of Rebecca Rose, encompasses 34 acres and provides camp sites for more than 525 motor homes, camping trailers, and tents. Loyal music fans who frequent the bluegrass festival circuit have declared Mossy Oak Music Park one of the “best outdoor music venues in the southeast.” What makes this festival even more special is the fact that it’s being dedicated to the late Jay Neurath Sr. of Rincon, a most memorable bluegrass music friend and fan.
“Our April lineup of entertainers includes some of the finest touring bluegrass bands,” said Doug Lanier. “Bands are coming to entertain us from Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina. And we are especially pleased to be partnering once again with the Chick-fil-A restaurant in Pooler to host the Gospel Music Association’s multi-Dove Award-winning Nelons on April 17.”
Thursday’s entertainment begins at 2 p.m., with the Nelons closing out the evening with a special show at 9 p.m.
“On this year’s program is our special nationally recognized headliner group, the great Daughters of Bluegrass band,” added Allen Lanier. “In addition, appearing along with them will be The Gary Waldrep Band, The Nelons, The Jimmy Wolling Band, Mindy Rakestraw, Pattie and Lynda Dawson, Haley Stiltner, Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road, Frances Mooney & Fontana Sunset, the Gentlemen of Bluegrass, The Jeanette Williams Band, Newtown, and the Sometimes Later Band.”
The Daughters of Bluegrass band was recently honored once again with national recognition from the prestigious International Bluegrass Music Association.
Members of each of the military branches will again be recognized and special guest 85-year-old Neal Corbin, a retired U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant from Rincon, will present the colors during the ceremony. He will be joined at the April festival ceremony by two retired U.S. Navy Korean and Vietnam war veterans. Also, a number of vendors will be at the park showing and selling their wares.
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, bath house, vendors, dump stations, and a number of other amenities. Pets and golf carts are welcome.
“Everything our great staff does here is focused on making our guests welcome and well entertained. So, if it’s traditional bluegrass and southern gospel music in an alcohol-free environment that folks appreciate then we have the place for them. Just bring along a lawn chair, then sit back and enjoy,” Doug Lanier said.
The five-day festival program, now in its 13th year, begins with a covered dish supper April 16 at 6 p.m. followed by an “open stage” beginning at 7 p.m. Music starts at 2 p.m. each day and runs to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It will conclude Easter Sunday at 8:30 a.m. with a worship service and special gospel music led by nationally-known evangelists/musicians Mike and Mary Robinson from Massachusetts.
Daily tickets are $20, or $45 for the full five days; half-price for children 12-15; and those under 12 are free. Camping with hookups are $15/$20 per night. Tent camping is $5 per night. For camping reservations, directions, and additional information call 772-5142 or 772-3467 or visit the Park on the Web at www.mossyoakmusicpark.com.