Edited by Chris Graham
Two of Waynesboro’s major arts organizations – the Wayne Theatre Alliance and the Shenandoah Valley Art Center – have joined forces to create a new regional tradition. On Saturday, June 5, the first Arts of the Blue Ridge Festival will be held in Constitution Park in Downtown Waynesboro.
The Festival is headlined by The Hackensaw Boys, along with performances by a number of other bluegrass bands, exhibits by local artisans and special activities for children. The gates to the Festival open at 11:30 a.m. The performances begin at noon and continue to 8 p.m.
Presale tickets are $20 and can be purchased on-line. A special children’s ticket of $5 is also available.
Ticket information is available online at the Festival website – www.artsoftheblueridgefestival.com.
The Arts of the Blue Ridge Festival is a celebration of the artistic heritage of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the contemporary artists who live and practice their arts on them and in the valleys surrounding them. The Festival builds on the foundation of public programming provide by the two organizations.
The Wayne Theatre Alliance created its Bluegrass, Blue Jeans, and Bar-b-que event in 2008. The popularity of the event, led the organization to move to Downtown Waynesboro the following year. After experiencing more growth, the WTA asked the Shenandoah Valley Art Center with its long history as the sponsor for the Fall Foliage Art Festival to join it and create a regional event that would bring together music, arts, and crafts.
The Hackensaw Boys are the headliner for the musical part of the Festival. Although they might conceivably be called a “local” band, they have vaulted from their beginnings in Charlottesville into the international music scene. The Boys have toured extensively in the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe, winning a solid fan base wherever they play. Their appearances on NPR’s “Mountain Stage” and “Morning Edition with Scot Simon” have given them wide recognition in the US. Their latest release Look Out has been labeled “The Boys at their best” with a postscript from Lucidforge Arts and Entertainment, “Don’t pass down a chance to see this high energy band live either, you surely won’t be disappointed.” The Hackensaw Boys will perform at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Besides the Hackensaw Boys, the festival includes sets by the regional bands, Hound Dog Hill Boys, FlattBroke, Maury River Bluegrass and the Blue Mountain Sunrise. Each brings its own style to the bluegrass genre.
A new feature of the Festival is the opening entertainment for children. The musical duo Kim and Jimbo Cary and the Little Switzerland Cloggers will delight all ages, but will have a special appeal for younger audiences.
Throughout the Festival, a large number of local artisans will exhibit and sell their crafts. Food and beverages will also be available.