By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
Visitors to the Sally Gap Bluegrass Festival got to learn another reason why Kentucky is known as the “Bluegrass State.”
One by one and in carloads and truckloads, people drove into the mountains along KY 92 East following the big signs to the festival grounds.
Once turning off KY 92, the one-lane road wound through the hills and went from pavement into gravel, offering a spectacular view of the forest, fields and trees along the way.
The gravel road then opened up into a huge area for camping, camaraderie, and of course, hours of fantastic bluegrass music.
People brought coolers, chairs, blankets, and even pulled up patches of grass to listen to the various musicians belt out bluegrass originals and favorites.
Thursday night the bands performing were Salt Creek, Mountain Drive and Southern Sun. Southern Sun also hosted the event.
Friday’s performances were given by several bands, and fans were granted the opportunity to hear each group twice. Those musicians included Megan Sasko Hinkle, The Dixie Ryders, Virgil Bowlin and Peerless Mountain, Common Bond, The 23 String Band and Darrell Scott & The Brothers.
Darrell Scott & The Brothers also brought a family member to sing a tune with them, Megan Scott, who is a University of Southern California student.
Saturday’s lineup includes the Whitley County Colonel Strings, Duty Free, Jets Creek, Tidalwave Road, Southern Sun, IIIrd Tyme Out and the Lonesome River Band. Several of those musicians are set to play two sets Saturday.
The Sally Gap Youth Band were also afforded the opportunity to share their music with festival attendees during the Saturday supper break.
Virgil Bowlin also offered shape-note singing lessons and mandolin lessons. Children were also able to participate, as several youth-geared activities were available for kids. Many children were also in the running to win an instrument.
But many of those youngsters were right in the audience, clapping and listening to the music.
Plenty of room was available for RV and tent camping, and several festival attendees took the opportunity to make a weekend of bluegrass.
For a schedule of the bands playing Saturday, visit our website at www.thetimestribune.com. Reservations for 2014 camping sites with electric will open at noon Saturday at the festival booth.