The Ola Belle Reed festival will be held at the Lansing Creeper Trail Park Friday Aug. 8 and Saturday Aug. 9, according to festival organizers.
This year, the line up includes: Jerry McCoury with Terry Baucom and friends, VW Boys, Big Country Bluegrass, Crooked Road Ramblers and Ola Belle Reed’s youngest son David.
“This year, we are going to have a main stage and a storytelling stage,” said Mack Powers, one of the festival organizers. “The storytelling stage will be best suited for solo performers and small bands.”
Serving as the emcee this year will be Cindy Baucom, who hosts the nationally syndicated radio show “Knee Deep in Bluegrass.” Baucom is also a co-director for the festival.
Powers said the two different stages will help to provide nonstop entertainment.
“Each main stage band will have a 45 minute set,” he said. “There will be a 15 minute set beside the main stage, so entertainment will be continuous.”
Powers said there will be a charge to attend the festival this year. Admission to the event will be $5 for Friday and $10 for Saturday, and people can also get wristbands for both days.
Children under 12 years old will be admitted free of charge.
Another change for this year’s festival will be extending the events by an hour each night. The festivities will start at 5 p.m. on Friday and noon on Saturday, with the last sets kicking off at 10 p.m.
Powers said the festival is the main fundraiser for Greater Lansing Area Development (GLAD) and its purpose is to show everyone the important musical history of the community.
“Lansing is really at the heart of some of the first old country and old time bluegrass music being the birthplace and hometown of Ola Belle Reed, Frank Blevins and his Tar Heel Rattlers and Albert Hash,” he said. “We hope to be able to share that (history) with as many people as we can. We look forward to having as many people come as we can fit into the park.”
Alongside the music, there will be hot dogs and burgers provided by the Lansing Volunteer Fire Department, arts and crafts vendors and more activities for children.
“We are hoping to have even more activities for children throughout Saturday,” Powers said. “We’re still working to improve that.”
According to Powers, the cooperation between GLAD, the Lansing Volunteer Fire Department and the Lansing Board of Aldermen, help make the event a success for the community.
“We are extremely pleased with the cooperation,” Powers said. “We really appreciate all of the cooperation and efforts going into the festival.”
Powers said there will be sheltered seating under a big tent provided by the volunteer fire department in case of heavy rain storms. That area will also provide a dancing space.
Other acts performing at the festival will include: Whitetop Mountain Band, the Elkville String band with Wayne Henderson, The Sheets Family Band, Rock Bottom Bluegrass Band, Melissa Reaves, the Harris Brothers, Ash Breeze Band, Time Sawyer, Zack Arnold and Friends and the Troubadours.
Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty.