By Charlotte Underwood / Staff writer
Despite wind and rain, folks still came out to Whitley County to hear some old fashioned bluegrass music at the fifth annual Sally Gap Bluegrass Festival.
Toes were tapping as adults and children alike enjoyed the common bond of mountain music, good food and fun times at the festival, according to Aaron Hamblin, who is one of the festival organizers.
A slew of out-of-state and local bands are scheduled to play through Saturday.
“We’ve been doing this all of our lives, all of our family is involved in bluegrass,” said another festival organizer Nathan Bray.
During the event, children have a chance to participate in free workshops during which they build a Bluegrass instrument and learn a song they perform on stage during supper break. Kids also get a free T-shirt.
“We have even expanded the kids workshops this year to make corn husk dolls,” said organizer Janice Malusky, adding that Lowes donated the wood kits for the expanded workshop.
At the end of the festival, there will be a drawing for four instruments. The children who participated in the workshops will do the drawing during one of the supper breaks, according to Janice Malusky, another festival organizer. It is all part of the American Traditional Music Project.
“It’s important to keep the music alive and the tradition of mountain music going. Teaching the kids how to build an instrument and giving them the opportunity to win an instrument really keeps them interested,” said “Uncle” Carl Hamblin. Hamblin is a former Whitley County resident who now resides in Ohio. He has been active in the festival since the beginning and has also been a part of the band The Dixie Riders for the past 42-years.
“My dad was an old time fiddler in these parts; mountain music has just always been a part of my life,” Hamblin said.
The festival began five years ago as a way to provide area residents something to do as well as the chance to see nationally-known bands for a good price, according to Bray and Hamblin.
“The festival gives the people in the area something to do and an opportunity to hear bands that they would normally not hear,” Bray said.
“We have to keep the music alive and getting together like this is one of the best ways to do it,” Hamblin said.
The festival will continue on through Saturday. It is located six miles east of Williamsburg on KY 92 East. Gates will open on Saturday at 10 a.m. Tickets are $20. Kids 13 and over pay $5 a day, kids age 12 and under admitted free. Rough camping is free to ticket holders. Electric hookups are available.
By Charlotte Underwood / Staff writer
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