Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

TODAY! Schoolhouse Grille Bluegrass Festival (A Be THERE or Be SQUARE Event)

Bluegrass Festival
Get out and play on Harsens Island!
Harsens Island Bluegrass Festival slated for Mid August
On Harsens Island they'll be celebrating summer old school -- literally.
The playground of the historic former two-room Harsens Island Schoolhouse will come alive with the sounds of traditional and contemporary bluegrass music and the aroma of smoky barbecue on Sunday, Aug. 15  when the island hosts its first-ever Harsens Island Bluegrass Festival.
The Harsens Island Bluegrass Festival will play out at the Schoolhouse Grille, 2669 Columbine on Harsens Island from noon to 9 p.m. Tickets are $20, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Harsens Island Lions Club Family Emergency Fund. (See box below for ticket sales locations). Traveling to Harsens Island, which is about an hour from Detroit and many other Metro Detroit and Port Huron area cities, includes a $7 ferry ride (in your car!) on the Champion Auto Ferry.  
For festival producer Kate Hart, the event on the Lake Saint Clair island is about hearkening back to simpler times when families took leisurely Sunday drives, enjoyed picnics and barbecues and listened to roots music in a beautiful setting.
"There are few places as beautiful as Harsens Island," said Hart, who fell in love with the island and moved there two years ago. "When we planned this festival we chose Bluegrass because it is lively and fun and steeped in American tradition.  
"I believe people truly want to get back to basics. This festival allows them to visit a beautiful place, enjoy some of the best bluegrass bands in the region, share each other's company, and feast on mouth-watering, slow-cooked barbecue."

Organizers made a concerted effort to seek regional vendors specializing in natural, organic, handmade crafts. Nearly 50 artists and vendors will display their work and goods at the first-time island festival.
Even some of the sponsors fit the natural theme. Sponsor and event beer provider, Patrick Hool, microbrews his beer in St. Clair adjacent to Sue's Coffee House, a mom and pop operation. Cooper's Canine of Algonac, another sponsor, sells all natural pet products.  Preferred Charters, of Port Huron, will provide old-time trolley rides to festival goers for a small fee, bringing them on a brief tour from offsite parking locations such as Sunset Harbor Marina, Brown's Field and the Lion's Hall.
Between the island beauty, the art and goods and the fabulous fare, festival goers will be kept plenty entertained. But Hart -- a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter who spent the better part of 40 years on the road singing with some of the best in blues -- knew that having the best regional entertainers in bluegrass was vital to a great experience.
"I think we've found some incredible groups for our festival," Hart said. "With headliners Lonesome County we'll have great bluegrass traditions and outstanding musical talent. Skin and Bones leans toward Country and will bring some really interesting elements, including a drummer who plays an amplified 1940s tweed suitcase. Each group has a special quality that people should really enjoy. And at the end of the evening, Deepwater Bluegrass will lead everyone in campfire songs."

Tickets are $20 and are on sale now. For information on where and how to purchase them, see the box directly below.
The musical lineup to date is: Lonesome County, Company of Strangers, Skin and Bones, Balduck Mountain Ramblers, Catfish Mafia and Deepwater Bluegrass. For more information about the bands and to hear their music see "The Lineup!" below and click the links. WYCD and WPON Talk Show Host Sheldon Kay will be the event emcee.