Arcadia Bluegrass Festival will make fans of all NORTH -- Manchester * Hampstead * Lineboro


September 08, 1993|By PAT BRODOWSKI

In Arcadia, you'll soon hear the grass turn blue.

Fourteen top-name bluegrass bands will play a four-day weekend on the grounds of the Arcadia Volunteer Fire Company Sept. 23 to Sept. 26.

It's the 10th annual Arcadia Bluegrass Festival, where the

fiddling starts in early evening and flows all night. The only way to keep folks awake in the moonlight is to offer a campground -- so the festival is like a camporee, too.

"We have tents, pop-ups, motor homes, motor coaches," said Linda Hale, who organizes the event with her husband William. "We started out small -- the second year had 30 campers, graduated to 300 by the fifth and sixth year. So we put in a lot of electric hookups."

They reached 180 hookups at last count. People plop down lawn TC chairs and listen with all the comforts of home.

The volunteer fire company serves foods -- from hamburgers to platters plus drinks. Pit beef is a new feature this year.

Top-name bluegrass musicians will play for one or two days, says Mrs. Hale. She expects Jimmy Martin and The Osborne Brothers from Tennessee, the Boyd Brothers from the Carolinas, The Boys from Indiana, Ralph Stanley from Virginia and Sand Mountain Boys and Warrior River Boys, both hailing from the deep south.

Also on the bill are well-known local acts such as The Carroll County Ramblers; Gary Ferguson, who recently moved to Littlestown, Pa. and Bluegrass from Ijamsville in Frederick County.

Then there's what Linda Hale calls "parking lot picking."

"Last year we had a lot of band members, some of the top names, go out and stick around," she said. "We had a lot of parking lot picking. The [festival goers] all pack guitars, fiddles, mandolins and big basses. The band members will mingle and play with 'em. Some [of the audience] don't even go down to the stage area.

"I kind of mess around with guitar, but I'm not like the parking lot pickers," she laughs. "There are a few of us [in the fire company] with guitars; one from the company likes to get out with them. I do enjoy getting out with 'em, but in the past couple years it's been too busy."

Word of the Arcadia Festival has spread through bluegrass music magazines.

"We've had people in from Japan and South Africa, England," she said, "and some from California and Arizona attend every year."

The festival has become one of the biggest money raisers, says Mrs. Hale. She and husband, William, went to a bluegrass festival 10 years ago in Gettysburg, Pa., and brought home the idea. Their first attempt teetered on failure.

"So we took a year of planning, mailing fliers to everyone we could think of and put it into bluegrass magazines," she said. "Now people come down for the steam show [one week before] and continue [camping], wait out the whole week. Hopefully it won't rain. Last year they put up tents and tarps. Those die-hard bluegrass fans played anyway."

"It took two festivals to refurbish it," said Mrs. Hale.

You can attend daily or all weekend. With a three-day ticket ($25 in advance, $30 at the gate ticket), Thursday night, when three bands play from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., is free.

Tickets also are sold on a daily basis.

Four bands strum on Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight; tickets are $13. Saturday's bill features seven bands from 11 a.m. to midnight; tickets are $15. Sunday, four bands play 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; tickets are $12. Kids under 12 are free every day.

Advance sale tickets at reduced rates are available until Saturday. Send checks to Arcadia Bluegrass Festival, c/o William Hale Jr., 15723 Dover Road, Upperco, Md. 21155.

Information: 374-2895.


Are you a yard sale nomad? Begin your day on Sept. 18 at the Hampstead American Legion Post 200 Auxiliary yard sale and flea market. It runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the parking lot next to the Legion hall on Legion Drive off Black Rock Road.

If you'd rather sell than buy, register for one of the 30 or more spaces available by calling Judy or Dot before Sept 15. They'll provide two tables on a space the size of parking spaces for $10. Vendors will be permitted to dine and use restroom facilities in the Legion hall.

The Auxiliary will sell donated items. Three artisans have registered to sell flowers, woodworking and tee shirts.

Information: Dot Lang, 374-6222, or Judy Eckenrode, 374-5106.


At St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Snydersburg, they've decided to retire the old organ. It's breathed music into Sunday services for about 40 years, and accompanied the 15-member chorus, but they'd like a new electric organ instead.

The church will have a flea market and craft sale with breakfast and lunch on Sept. 25 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the church, 16132 Cape Horn Road. Rain date is Oct. 2.

Breakfast at 7 a.m. is all you can eat for $4, with pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, juice and coffee.

"We go from breakfast right into soup and sandwiches for lunch," said Leslie Zepp, whose wife Edna is chairwoman for the event.

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