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Outdoor Bluegrass Festival coming to Bullskin

| Monday, June 10, 2013, 7:29 p.m.
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Laurel Mountain Bluegrass, along with several other acts, will perform during the Bullskin Outdoor Bluegrass Festival to be held June 28, 29 and 30 at the Bullskin Fairgrounds. From left are Ray Bruckma on fiddle; Diane Johnson on banjo; John Prah, Glen Leonard, guitar; Ellen Hall, vocal; and Terry Hall, bass.

The organizers of the Bullskin Opry are taking their efforts of bringing bluegrass and gospel music to the people one step further by hosting an outdoor Bluegrass Festival this summer.

The weekend-long event will be held June 28, 29 and 30 at the Bullskin Fairgrounds.

“It's a chance to get the local people together and have a good time with friends in a relaxed atmosphere and listen to good music,” said event coordinator Bill Springer of Mill Run.

Springer said in the past the group held bluegrass festivals in Ohiopyle and Indian Head but have not had an event like this for about 10 years.

“A lot of people wanted us to try it because there isn't really any outdoor bluegrass event locally,” said Greg Grimm of Indian Head, one of the event organizers.

In addition to the organizers' band, Springtime Hill Barn Band, several local and regional bluegrass bands are scheduled to perform at the event. These include Keep Off The Grass, The Washhouse Band, The Dunbar Boys, Laurel Mountain Bluegrass, The Husksters and Black Diamond and Blue Steel along with several others.

“I think it's great. We're so happy Bill's got this going again. We enjoy playing for him,” said Glenn Leonard of Connellsville, guitar player for Laurel Mountain Bluegrass.

Leonard said the group had participated in prior festivals held years ago.

“The people enjoy the music, and we enjoyed the appreciation we got from them,” Leonard said.

The group performs both bluegrass and gospel music and will play for about 45 minutes at the event. Leonard said they have many songs in their repertoire including: “Tennessee,” “Redwood Hill,” “Fox on the Run,” “Life is Like a Mountain” and “I'm Using My Bible for a Roadmap.”

In addition to the music, there will be food, crafts and other vendors as well as activities for the children.

“It's a family-oriented event,” Springer said.

That Friday night, the event will be held from 5 to 11 p.m. then from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. A church service is planned for Sunday morning.

The performances will take place rain or shine. In case of rain, Springer said the music will be moved into the Grange Building, where the Opry has their regular monthly performances.

Organizers are asking participants to bring their own lawn chairs. Springer said no alcohol will be permitted at the event. Camping will be permitted, but no hookups will be available.

Admission to the event is free, but Springer said donations are welcome.

Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.

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