Make us your home page

Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival offers an alternative to holiday bustle

Sarah Harris, center, and the Trinity River Band play Friday at the Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival.

Lind Entertainment

Sarah Harris, center, and the Trinity River Band play Friday at the Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival.

SPRING LAKE — The turkey and fixings will be designated to leftover status and then comes the music.

The annual Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival, which began Thursday, continues through Saturday at the Sertoma Youth Ranch, offering a toe-tapping, knee-slapping, get-up-and-dance alternative to the post-holiday hustle and bustle at local shopping centers.

The music kicks off at 11 a.m. today with 11 bands performing over two days under an 8,000-square-foot covered pavilion. Those who go are welcome to purchase tickets by the day, or camp overnight in the ranch's woodsy setting.

A well-worth-it draw for this year's festival is eastern Kentucky native Larry Cordle and his band, Lonesome Standard Time.

"That's a pretty big name we've got coming. He's a songwriter extraordinaire," said concert promoter Mitch Lind, noting that Cordle has garnered several music nominations and awards. Among the well-know artists who have recorded his songs — a few of them hits — are Ricky Skaggs, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Alison Krauss, Trisha Yearwood, Alan Jackson and George Strait.

The Little Roy and Lizzy Show promises to ignite today's show with some high energy, Lind said. Local offerings include Sarah Harris and the Trinity River Band out of Jacksonville and Flatt Lonesome, a young group out of North Florida that garnered the 2014 International Bluegrass Music Association Emerging Artist of the Year award.

"They're reminiscent of old Hank Williams," Lind said. "They're really, really good."

Other groups include the Darrell Webb Band, Breaking Grass, Goldwing Express, Steve Gulley and New Pinnacle, the Roys, the Southern Express Bluegrass Band and HWY 41 South.

Add to that a state-of-the-art sound system and a hearing loop system for the hearing impaired that pipes the show directly into hearing aids.

Bluegrass is the main course, but there will be some enjoyable "sides." Those who hanker to pick a tune or two themselves can attend a music workshop, or pick up their own instrument and join a jam.

A variety of youth activities — arts and crafts, hands-on music lessons, hayrides — are aimed to keep kids entertained.

The Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival is the ranch's biggest fundraiser, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to fund the free youth programs that are offered there throughout the year.

Contact Michele Miller at Follow @MicheleMiller52.

>>If you go

Festival time

The 35th Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival began on Thursday and continues today and Saturday at the Sertoma Youth Ranch, 85 Myers Road, south of Spring Lake. Gate-only ticket prices: weekend, $80; Thursday, $15; Friday, $35; Saturday, $35. Youth ages 10 to 16, $5 per day; ages 9 and under, free. For information, a complete schedule and camping prices, go to or call (828) 265-9929.

Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival offers an alternative to holiday bustle 11/25/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 25, 2015 3:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Glen Campbell's wife Kim discusses challenges, guilt caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, others face

    Life Times

    If there's one thing Kim Campbell would change about caregiving for Alzheimer's patients, it's the attitude so many of us have toward transferring a loved one from home to a long-term care facility. According to Campbell, it's often the most kind, loving decision you can make. It's not a sign of failure, but one of …

    Kim Campbell, wife of country music legend Glen Campbell, is acknowledged by those attending the free event where she shared the story of her personal journey with Alzheimer???‚??„?s disease and the struggles she faced caring for her husband on Friday (5/26/17) at the Suncoast Hospice's Empath Health Service Center in Clearwater. Empath Choices for Care, a member of Empath Health, and Arden Courts Memory Care hosted the free event where Kim shared her story to help others understand the early stages, how the disease changes lives, the challenges families face and the role of caregiver.
  2. What happened when I took my dad to a Pitbull concert

    Music & Concerts

    TAMPA — "So, you know how you like Pitbull?" I asked my dad. "We can see him."

    Selfie of Divya Kumar and Anand Kumar at Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias concert.
  3. Tampa City Council votes to accept travel invitation from Cuban ambassador


    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 25


    St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue's Grand Central District with more than 350 vendors, multiple stages, live music, art and food. 9 a.m., Grand Central District, 2429 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 342-0084.

    Kristen Whalen poses for a photo before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg last year. It's that time of year again, so check with us for your planning purposes. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times (2016)]
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 24


    St. Pete Pride Block Party and Night Parade: St. Pete Pride's popular parade moves to downtown St. Petersburg's scenic waterfront. The block party brings DJs, food and drinks starting at 2 p.m. The parade steps off at Fifth Ave NE and Bayshore at 7 p.m. with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. 2 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth …

    Thousands line the streets of Central Ave. during the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg.  [Saturday, June 25, 2016] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]