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Bluegrass sounds return to Stratford

35th annual festival opens tonight in City Park

- Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Hans Madsen  Members of the Bluegrass Band Volume Five warm up before their appearance at the 2018 Stratford Bluegrass Festival. They are, from left, Jacob Burleson, of Newland, North Carolina, mandolin, Jeff Partin, of Ellijay, Georgia, bass, Colby Laney, of Marion, North Carolina, guitar and Patton Wages, of Mountain Rest, South Carolina, banjo. This year’s festival will feature seven different bands.

STRATFORD — The sounds of bluegrass music will once again fill the city park of Stratford as the 35th annal Bluegrass Festival gets under way tonight.

Sponsored by Stratford Stride, the event will bring the talent of seven different bands over the course of for days.

The Tony Rook Band will kick things off Thursday night along with the Kenaston Family from Nebraska and That Dalton Gang from Missouri. Performances on Thursday begin at 7 p.m.

On Friday, the Baker Family from Missouri, Special Consensus from Illinois, Casey and the Attaboys from Missouri, Lori King and Jct. 63 from Iowa and Kenaston Family will perform. Performances on Friday begin at 12 p.m. with the evening session set to begin at 6 p.m.

Saturday morning will bring the annual parade through town, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Musical performances will begin at noon on Saturday, with a 6 p.m. evening performance session. Groups scheduled to perform Saturday are The Baker Family, Casey and The Attaboys, Lori King and Jct. 63, That Dalton Gang and Kenaston Family.

Dale Eichor will serve as the master of ceremonies for the festival.

Sunday morning will feature a community church service at 10:30 a.m. with Gospel music set to begin at 12:30 p.m.

Tickets, available at the gate, are $15 for Thursday night, $25 for an all-day Friday or Saturday pass or $20 for those arriving after 5 p.m. on those days. A Friday and Saturday pass is $40 and a three-day pass is $50. As a special perk, the three-day pass comes with a free slice of pie.

Food concessions will be available all weekend, according to organizers. The menu includes ribeye steak sandwiches, Iowa pork chops, bacon-cheese pork burgers, beefburgers, homemade potato salad, baked beans, homemade pie and soft service ice cream. No alcoholic beverages will be allowed.

Organizers encouraged those attending to bring lawn chairs and instruments, as there will be opportunities to jam with other musicians.

For more information on the bluegrass festival, visit www.stratfordbluegrass.com.

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