For 37 years, bluegrass enthusiasts and players have gathered at Armuchee Music Park on Turkey Mountain Road to share their love of the genre with the Memorial Day Weekend Armuchee Bluegrass Festival.
“If they play they are welcome to bring their instruments,” Helen Burke said. “Everyone accepts these folks like they have known them all their life.”
Helen helps run the festival while her husband Jerry handles the campground, which is almost full she said. Thursday night will be the covered dish supper and the festival itself is scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m. Friday evening.
The campground is filling up fast Helen said, so for those wishing to stay at the music park for the weekend, electric and water hookups for campers are $20 per night, while tent camping is $5 per night. To find out more about camping call 706-766-6352 or visit the festival’s Facebook page.
The Armuchee Bluegrass Fiddlers will be kicking off the acts both on Friday and Saturday. The group is composed of local fiddle players and Helen said the group is open to any fiddle players in the area who wish to join them this weekend.
“We long for the day where we see that stage filled with Georgia fiddlers,” she said.
On Saturday morning, music begins again at 10:45 a.m. A three-day pass is $21, while admission costs $10 on Friday and $12 on Saturday. The festival ends on Sunday with a 9:30 a.m. worship service.
After Sunday’s service festival goers will pay tribute to Aina Jo Barnwell with a memorial service at 11 a.m. Barnwell was a member of Sprung Chickens, also known as The Next Band, and was an Atlanta resident who passed away while visiting her daughter in Texas. She was one of the first bands to play at the festival, Helen said. Instead of flowers donations can be made to the American Heart Association.