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Music: Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival returns this spring

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Rhonda Vincent

Rhonda Vincent will perform during the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival in May.

After having to cancel both the May and September editions of the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival in 2020, organizers announced the return of this popular festival on Thursday, May 13 through Sunday, May 16.

This will be welcome news for many festival-goers in the wake of numerous festivals still being canceled or postponed nationwide. Since its founding in 1979, the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival has been considered one of the premier bluegrass festivals in the country.

Boasting its usual stellar line-up, the festival will feature headliner Rhonda Vincent and the Rage (Friday) plus many notable bluegrass bands including The Grascals (Saturday), Appalachian Road Show (Saturday), Lonesome River Band (Thursday), Seldom Scene (Saturday and Sunday), Dry Branch Fire Squad (Saturday and Sunday), Donna Ulisse (Thursday), Po’ Ramblin’ Boys (Saturday), Larry Sparks and The Lonesome Ramblers (Friday), Sideline (Thursday) , Songs From The Road Band (Thursday and Friday), Sideline (Thursday), Tim Shelton Syndicate (Friday), Seth Mulder & Midnight Run (Sunday), plus more to be announced.

The festival will be held at the beautiful Granite Hill Resort in Gettysburg. The venue provides the perfect backdrop for individuals, couples or the entire family. For those wishing to make a weekend of it, hookup RV camping packages can be reserved in advance by calling the Granite Hill office at 800-642-8368. Rough camping packages are also available for purchase on the festival website or at the gate.

Essentials such as modern bathroom facilities are offered, and even such amenities as a stocked trout pond, Adventure Golf Course, playgrounds, tennis court, game room and a bass and boating lake are also available.

Concerts will be presented from the Sterling Pavilion, a “King Post Truss” timber frame structure built in the architectural traditions of the surrounding area. Attendees should plan to bring chairs or blankets.

Headliner Rhonda Vincent began her career as a young child playing in her family’s band, the Sally Mountain Show. She quickly burned through learning mandolin and fiddle before appearing on TNN’s nationally televised “You Can Be a Star” program in her mid-twenties. Since then, her prestigious career has found her singing with Grand Ole Opry’s Jim Ed Brown, recording with her band on Rebel and Rounder Records, and headlining at bluegrass festivals.

Today, Vincent is one of the most decorated women in bluegrass history having netted seven Grammy nominations and a 2017 win for the album “All the Rage: Volume One,” 12 International Bluegrass Music Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year, Recorded Event of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, and Song of the Year, and many awards for the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America.

Festival-goers concerned about the possible health risks due to COVID-19 should know the festival organizers will be complying with the most current health and safety standards, including holding the outdoor festival at 50% capacity.

Other precautions in place will include requiring that attendees, volunteers and festival personnel wear masks at all times (except when at personal campsites) and that festival-goers maintain 6 feet of social distancing. Advance ticket purchases are highly recommended since the availability of tickets at the gate is not guaranteed.

Day passes are available, and tickets are also sold for two, three or four days. For tickets, information or to reserve your site for rough camping, visit www.gettysburgbluegrass.com.

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