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Campers, musicians to pack park for bluegrass, gospel
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The event at Mossy Oak Music Park features bluegrass and gospel in the traditional acoustic style.

GUYTON — The third week of October each year is highlighted by one of Effingham County’s largest and premier events.

The Rebecca Rose Memorial 52nd Bluegrass and Gospel Music Festival at Mossy Oak Music Park runs today through Sunday morning. Visitors to the beautiful 34-acre park will enjoy bluegrass and gospel music performed live and in the traditional acoustic style, along with great vocal harmonies.

The event is dedicated to cancer survivors and increasing breast cancer awareness and research. A portion of festival revenues will go toward that effort. 

 “In May, we set an attendance record and we’re expecting and preparing for what looks like another great crowd,” Doug Lanier said. 

The Lanier family has hosted the bluegrass and gospel music festivals on its family farm two miles out of historic Guyton since 2002.

The award-winning park provides more than 500 camp sites for motor homes, campers and tents, as well as ample daily visitor parking that’s handicap accessible.

Music fans who frequent the bluegrass festival circuit have once again agreed Mossy Oak Music Park is one of the “best outdoor bluegrass music venues in the Southeast.” 

“Our great lineup of entertainers includes some of the very best touring bluegrass bands. They’re coming to entertain us from Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, and the Carolinas,” Lanier said.

 Among the 12 bands featured are a number of International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) music award winners, including the Little Roy Lewis and Lizzie Show, Kevin Prater Band, Evan Rose Band, Bell’s Highway, Kody Norris Show, Po Ramblin’ Boys, Carolina Blue, Sometimes Later Band, Swinging Bridge, Billy Droze and Kentucky Blue, and others.

Members of each military branch will again be recognized and special guest 93-year-old retired U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Neal Corbin of Rincon will present the colors during a special ceremony recognizing all veterans.

“We’re excited to again have the excellent staff from Effingham’s own Julie Montgomery Catering preparing and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner during the festival. Their extended hours and expanded menu has become a big hit at our festivals,” Lanier said.

 The park has a covered theater/pavilion seating more than 700, a large and 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 from 10 a.m. until noon each day.

Pets and golf carts are also welcome and a free shuttle from the park to Guyton’s huge “Sale Along the Trail” city-wide yard sale is provided.

 “Everything our courteous staff does is focused on making our guests feel welcome and well-entertained. And again, if it’s traditional acoustic and unique bluegrass and southern gospel music you enjoy, in an alcohol- and drug-free environment then we have the place for you. Just bring along a lawn chair, then just sit back and enjoy yourself,” Allen Lanier said.

The five-day festival, now in its seventeenth year, begins with a covered dish supper today at 6 p.m., followed by an “open stage” that provides local area talent an opportunity to showcase their musical skills beginning at 7 p.m.

Music starts at 1 p.m. and runs unitl 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday  and Saturday. 

The festival will conclude with a special worship service on Sunday at 9 a.m. led by inspiring evangelists and musicians Mike and Mary Robinson from Massachusetts. 

Daily tickets Thursday cost $20; Friday and Saturday costs $25; or $50 for the full 5-days (a $20 savings); half price for children 12-15; and those under 12 are admitted free.

Camping with hookups are $20/$25 per night. Tent camping is $5 per night.

For camping reservations, tickets and additional information, call 912-772-5142 or 912-772-3467 or visit the Park on the web at