Plain City event a great pick for bluegrass fans

(Posted May 22, 2024)

Bill Purk and Reed Jones

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Anyone who likes bluegrass music and good food might want to pick Pastime Park in Plain City as their place to be on June 1.

Echo Valley

Hosted by the village of Plain City, the 5th Annual Bluegrass & BBQ is set to take place that Saturday from 12 to 8 p.m. Admission is free. The park is located at 370 N. Chillicothe St.

Lonesome Lost & Foggy

Six bluegrass acts are scheduled to take the stage:

  • 12-1 p.m.–Bill Purk and Reed Jones. This dynamic duo from Urbana has performed all over central Ohio. Both musicians hold degrees in education and often infuse their shows with facts about the history of bluegrass.
  • 1:30-2:20 p.m.–Echo Valley. Based out of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, this all-siblings band brings a lot of energy to their performances.
  • 2:40-3:40 p.m.–Lonesome Lost & Foggy. Together for nearly a decade and based out of western Pennsylvania, this band plays traditional music, adding three- and four-part harmonies whenever possible.
  • Slate Ridge

    4-5 p.m.–Slate Ridge. This traditional bluegrass group is based in Columbus and plays often at Byrne’s Pub and other area establishments.

  • 5:20-6:20 p.m.–Appalachian Swing. Adam Schlenker, coordinator of American Roots Music Studies at Denison University, heads up this band that draws its inspiration from The Kentucky Colonels.
  • Appalachian Swing

    6:40-7:40 p.m.–The Relentless Mules. This band has a lot of go-go-go energy and gigs at various venues and events in and around Columbus.

In addition to the music lineup, Bluegrass & BBQ will feature several food trucks selling tasty vittles, including Buckeye BBQ Express of West Jefferson and Rudy’s Smokehouse of Springfield. Miller’s Ice Cream of Plain City, Shake It Up Lemonade of West Jefferson, and Great Dogz of Marysville also will be on site.

The Relentless Mules

The village encourages anyone planning to attend to bring their own lawn chairs and/or blankets. Children are invited to enjoy bounce houses.

Bluegrass & BBQ got its start in 2019 after Andy Leer, banjo player and singer for Lonesome Lost & Foggy, suggested the idea to village leaders. Leer had moved to Plain City from Pennsylvania the year before and thought such an event would go over well.

The first Bluegrass & BBQ was a small affair featuring two bands and one barbecue vendor, taking place over a couple of hours at the Pastime Park gazebo. Now, it’s an eight-hour event with more bands and more food vendors. Attendance topped 1,200 last year. Leer is expecting another big crowd this year.

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