1st Annual "Bluegrass in the Park" Festival

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Emmaus Announces Free Bluegrass Festival

Sept. 30 will mark the date of the 1st Annual “Bluegrass in the Park” Festival

The Emmaus Special Entertainment Commission is excited to announce its first annual “Bluegrass in the Park,” a festival of music, food and family fun.

The event will begin on Sunday, September 30 at 12 p.m. at Emmaus Community Park and will continue throughout the day, ending at 7 p.m. It will be held rain or shine as the pavilions offer plenty of shelter.

Four bands will keep guests’ toes tapping throughout the day:

Without a Paddle (www.withoutapaddleband.com)

Without A Paddle is bluegrass with a twist! Old standards, new stuff, antique jingles, hold-overs from the 1920’s and a little bit of countrified swing. You’ll definitely hear something you like. Featuring musicians Virginia Molinari (auto harp, lead vocals), Dick Gerlach (mandolin, banjo, fiddle, vocals), Marilla Payne (lead and high harmony vocals), Aaron Payne (bass guitar), and Jon Mattar (guitar, silent vocals).

Big Valley Bluegrass (ww.bigvalleybluegrass.com)

Big Valley Bluegrass plays a blend of original and traditional bluegrass music. From their home base in the Lehigh Valley, they have played numerous festivals, concerts and radio shows in PA, NJ and Delaware.  Songwriter Gina Ross had her song “Jesus In My Soul” recorded by nationally known artist Johnny Cash (co-wrote with T. Ross and J. Sonnier).  BVB is Paul Spriet (banjo), Gina Ross (guitar), Keith Kester, (bass) and Bill Parker (mandolin, guitar).

Willow Creek (www.bluegrassbywillowcreek.com)

Willow Creek has been playing bluegrass around the Lehigh Valley for decades, dedicated to the traditional acoustic sound. They play a variety of traditional tunes by Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, and others, blended with a mix of gospel tunes. The band’s current configuration is led by founding member Bill Schaffer (bass), Dennis Schuler (banjo), Bill Parker (guitar), and Alfred Poor (mandolin). Their high-energy and entertaining delivery is sure to get your toes tapping and your hands clapping.

Cat Elwell and Saucony Grass (www.facebook.com/pages/Cat-Elwell-and-Saucony-Grass-Bluegrass-Band)

Based out of the Kutztown area, this well-known band loves playing hard-drivin', American-made classic bluegrass, new grass, and bluegrass gospel. They’ve been heard at the Kutztown Folk Festival, the Lyons Fiddle Fest, the Rodale Organic Apple Festival, coffee houses, a dinner theater, street fairs, garden parties and private parties in Berks and Lehigh Counties. Members include Cat Elwell (fiddle and back-up vocals), Matt Synnestvedt (rhythm guitar, lead vocal, back-up vocals), Steven Simpson (mandolin, banjo, lead vocal, back-up vocals), Stavros Flamporis (stand-up bass and back-up vocals).

All performances will take place under the Arts Pavilion at Emmaus Community Park.

Guests can enjoy food and sweets from local businesses including Creamery on Main and Rita’s of Emmaus, funnel cake and kettle corn, along with interesting stands from local artists to handmade goods from Ecuador to locally made alpaca fiber products and hand-crafted jewelry.

Caricaturists, face-painters and henna tattoo artists will also be on site to keep the children occupied when they’re not dancing to the sounds of the banjo.

There’s truly something for everyone! Join us for this exciting first year of local talent and tasty foods.


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