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Red Wing Roots Music Festival, partners, announce major investment at Natural Chimneys

Red Wing Roots Music FestivalWith the help more than 1,000 volunteer-hours, major contributions from four local contractors, and individual donations, the Red Wing Roots Music Festival is significantly renovating and expanding a stage at Natural Chimneys Park in Mount Solon. The new-and-improved timber-frame structure will be ready in time for the sixth edition of the festival, held this year at Natural Chimneys from July 13 to 15.

The renovation of the existing stage, designed by Gaines Group Architects and valued at about $100,000, represents a major upgrade for both the Red Wing festival and Natural Chimneys Park, which will retain ownership of the structure. Natural Chimneys Park – which is owned by Augusta County – has enjoyed a long history of musical performance, including an appearance by Hank Williams Sr. in 1950.

“This gorgeous, timber-frame stage will be used and celebrated at Red Wing each year, but also by plenty of other groups over the years as well,” said festival co-founder Mike Weaver.

Dr. Marshall Pattie, Augusta County Supervisor for the North River District, described the renovation as an example of the beneficial relationship between Red Wing and the surrounding community.

“The Red Wing festival is a great family event that attracts fans from around the country,” he said. “The partnership that’s developed between the Red Wing Roots Music Festival and Natural Chimneys Park over the past six years has led to many upgrades in the park. The stage improvement is yet another example of a project that will benefit festivalgoers and Augusta County citizens.”

Blue Ridge Timberwrights, based in Christiansburg, Va., is the largest supporter of the project, underwriting a significant portion of the cost in exchange for a multi-year festival sponsorship and multiyear naming rights to the stage. “We are constructing a structure that will last for decades, and we at Blue Ridge Timberwrights are thrilled to be a part of the team!” said Paula Davis, project coordinator. “This is a special project for me personally, because I grew up in Staunton and camped at Natural Chimneys as a Girl Scout. It’s nice to be able to know that I helped give back a bit to the community where I was raised.”

Herr & Co. Building Contractors, from Harrisonburg, Va., is serving as general contractor for the stage expansion.

“This project fits well with the type of services Herr & Co. offers and allows us to be a part of a great team of professionals, Augusta County staff, and volunteers that was put together to help make this vision a reality,” said Project Manager Mike Herr. “We are excited to be a part of something that will be a permanent fixture at the festival and at Natural Chimneys Park.”

Venture Builders Inc., also based in Harrisonburg, is coordinating volunteer labor for the project.
Venture Builders and Herr & Co., along with the project architect – Gaines Group Architects, are all Red Wing sponsors.

“We love being a part of making Red Wing happen each and every year,” said Jeremy Blosser, president of Venture Builders. “We are so happy to be a part of this process to improve the look and sound of the Southern Stage. Our family likes camping a Natural Chimneys a number of times each year when Red Wing is not going on, so helping them improve the facility not just for Red Wing is a plus.”

“I called on a lot of our vendors that I know enjoy Red Wing each year, and without hesitation they jumped right in to lend a hand,” Blosser continued. “Even some that have never been to the festival were willing to jump in because they know how fantastic the festival is. I do truly feel humbled in some way at the outpouring of help that is still flowing in.”

Headlined as always by Shenandoah Valley favorites, The Steel Wheels, this year’s festival also features Trampled By Turtles, Josh Ritter, Steep Canyon Rangers, I’m With Her (Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan), Kuinka, The Secret Sisters, John Moreland and many others.

Known for it’s small, family-friendly feel, Red Wing Roots Music Festival has grown steadily since its debut in 2013, attracting sell-out crowds on Friday and Saturday last year. In addition to celebrating great music, Red Wing also celebrates the Shenandoah’s Valley’s great outdoors, with hikes, bike rides, fun runs, yoga and swimming available all weekend long.

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