Loachapoka’s Pioneer Park to host 11th annual ‘Old Time Music Festival’ April 27

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Special to the
Opelika Observer

The annual “Lee County Gathering: Old-Time Music Festival – Down From the Mountains” will be held April 26 to 28 at Loachapoka’s Pioneer Park.
The event began in 2009 when four members of the society sought to bring old-time, traditional music on historical acoustic instruments to the area. Since then, more than 700 people from all over the United States have attended the event.
The instructors have always been a mixture of nationally known and award-winning recording artists, musicians/instructors, and talented local musicians. This year’s line-up is no different.
The schedule on April 26 will be an all-day jam. All area musicians with acoustic instruments are welcomed to join in the fun. Friday is an admission-free day, and will end with a covered-dish supper at 5:30 p.m. All instructional classes will be April 27. On April 28 there will be a 9 a.m. hymn sing followed by private lessons from the instructors. These private lessons are arranged by individual instructors and fees are paid directly to them.
Headlining the mountain dulcimer classes is the 2007 National Dulcimer Champion and North Carolina native Dr. Joe Collins. In addition to Collins, Tennessee residents Jim and Cheri Miller will perform bluegrass, Celtic and old-time music, as well as teach the hammered dulcimer and mandolin.
Sharrie George, part of the Guy and Sharrie Duo from the Dayton area, will bring in her vibrant and fun instruction skills, teaching traditional and Celtic tunes on ukulele. Local musicians, Bob Taunton (banjo and bass) and Cindy Mask (autoharp) will round out the faculty. All instructional classes will be held on April 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday will end with an instructors concert at 7 p.m.
Those interested in attending are encouraged to use the Lee County Gathering registration page inserted into the trails to register for the festival. Both Friday and Saturday’s events are free.
Breakfast and lunch will be available Friday and Saturday at the Pioneer Park Cookhouse. The breakfast menu will feature sweet-potato and sausage biscuits. The lunch menu will feature grilled hamburgers and hot dogs with all the “fixings.”
For more information, call organizer Deborah McCord at 334-703-3646 or visit www.leecountyhistoricalsociety.org. The park is located at 6500 Stage Road, Loachapoka.

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