1. Music

Riverhawk festival to serve up a weekend of music at Sertoma ranch

SPRING LAKE — The 17th annual Riverhawk Music Festival gets under way Nov. 9 and continues through Nov. 12, offering up a full plate — Americana, alt country, rockabilly, Celtic, newgrass (progressive blue grass) — all in the natural setting of the Sertoma Youth Ranch.

The four-day event will feature 20 touring bands performing on multiple stages. Among the notables: Ray Wylie Hubbard, Chris Smith, the Jon Stickley Trio, Dust Bowl Revival and the Black Lilies. Concert-goers have an option to camp overnight at the ranch, or simply take in the music one day at a time.

Those with musical inclinations might want to bring their own instruments. As in previous years, there will be an opportunity to partake in an open-mic event, get some tips at a song-writing or instrumental workshop, or be part of a spontaneous music jam, some held alongside performers under the stars around a crackling campfire.

The festival will offer a full program of youth-oriented activities on a dedicated stage. There will also be an assortment of craft and food vendors.

While it's all about the music, there is an altruistic side to Riverhawk. A percentage of the income helps fund improvements and maintenance at the Sertoma Youth Ranch, operated by a nonprofit organization that brings youth and nature together.

If you can't make Riverhawk, or if you leave wanting more, the 38th annual Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival is right around the corner. The event will be Nov. 23 to 25 at the Sertoma Youth Ranch, and comes with the invitation to break bread with others at an old-time Thanksgiving dinner at 2 p.m. Nov. 23. Those attending should bring a covered dish to share. Sertoma provides the turkey.

To purchase tickets, reserve campsites or for information, call Lynda at (828) 265-9929 or send email to