Bluegrass fest returns to PerrysburgWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
A local bluegrass tradition continues for the 23rd year, when the Bluegrass Winterfest comes back to the Holiday Inn French Quarter in Perrysburg on Jan. 11 and 12.
“This is one of the first festivals to start out the new year with. Basically, a lot of people after the winter and after the holidays, they’re anxious to get out for some relaxation,” said Larry Efaw, who has promoted the show for about seven years.
Efaw also leads the Bluegrass Mountaineers, who will play Jan. 12. The band has been together since 1962. Efaw, 54, joined at age 7 and his 82-year-old father Edward still plays with the group when he’s able. Larry’s son Stanley also joined the band after he began playing the mandolin at 7. In addition, Larry’s son-in-law, Stacy Wilcox, plays with the group.
“As long as they listen to what I say, we get along fine; we get along really well. We have no problems,” Efaw said with a laugh. “I know a lot of families, they’ll bicker back and forth, but I’m fortunate on that.”
The six-member group based out of the Akron area includes 15-year-old Landon Fitzpatrick, a relative newcomer to the band.
“He does a fine job. They all do actually,” Efaw said. “He’s just as dependable as anybody you could ever have.”
The Bluegrass Mountaineers had a busy year with stops in the United States and Canada. Efaw said the group plans to get studio time soon to make a CD of originals and fan favorites.
The festival starts at 12:30 p.m. and runs until 11:30 p.m. Jan. 11. The first day features Jr. Sisk & Ramblers Choice, Deepwater Bluegrass, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, Larry Gillis and Swampgrass and Idletymes Bluegrass Band.
The second day starts at noon and ends at 11:30 p.m. Jan. 12. Award-winner Rhonda Vincent and the Rage is featured and the Bluegrass Mountaineers, Matheson Family Pride, Remington Ryde and Bo Isaac and The Rounders will also play. Efaw said he expects the festival to draw about 700 attendees. He and his wife Lisa took over promoting the Bluegrass Winterfest when the festival’s co-founder, Robert White, passed away.
General seating is $25 per day. Children 12 and younger are free. The Holiday Inn French Quarter is at 10630 Fremont Pike, Perrysburg. For more information, visit the web site www.bluegrassmountaineers.net.
Tags: Bluegrass Mountaineers, Bluegrass Winterfest, Deepwater Bluegrass, Idletymes Bluegrass Band, Jr. Sisk & Ramblers Choice, Larry Efaw, Larry Gillis and Swampgrass, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, Matheson Family Pride, Remington Ryde and Bo Isaac, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, The Rounders