Pickin’ and grinnin’ at annual Bluebirds and Bluegrass Festival at Dauset Trails

April 11, 2014 

Packway Handle Band will be one of the featured acts Saturday at the 14th annual Bluebirds and Bluegrass Festival at Dauset Trails in Jackson.

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Dauset Trails in Jackson is once again hosting the ever-popular 14th annual Bluebirds and Bluegrass Festival on Saturday.

“This year’s festival will feature live bands, outdoor recreation and wildlife booths and demonstrations, plant sales and more. The festival is free. Food and drink will be sold by Boy Scout Troop 169 and 161. There also will be snack vendors,” Gordon Respess, a naturalist at Dauset Trails, said in a recent email.

Exhibitors include the Georgia Orienteering Club, Museum of Arts and Sciences, Ocmulgee National Monument, 10th Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Jarrell Plantation, Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia Hunter Education, Atlanta Audubon Society, Flint River Astronomy Club, Rock Eagle 4-H, Sandy Creek Nature Center, Reynolds Nature Preserve, Barnesville Woodturners, Celestial Blessings, Heirloom Plants, Deb Deb Strawberries and others.

“It’s going to be a great event,” Respess said.

For those coming for the music, the park will open at 9 a.m., with the bands taking the stage beginning at 11 a.m.

“This year’s lineup features Packway Handle Band, Johnny Roquemore & the Apostles of Bluegrass, and Coley Station,” Respess said. “It’s going to be a really good lineup and a lot of fun.”

According to Packway Handle Band’s website, the band’s five members “have wowed audiences for over a decade with near perfect four-part harmonies and seemingly boundless on-stage synergy. Over the years, the band has evolved as a premier gather-around-the-mic act. Their performance is focused around a tight cluster of microphones surrounded by an arsenal of acoustic and electric instruments: banjo, fiddle, mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar, upright and electric bass, and an ever-changing array of percussive accessories, sometimes called ‘The Rattletrap.’ ”

Johnny Roquemore, according to his website, is “an awarding-winning songwriter vocalist and guitarist.” Roquemore has earned Atlanta’s Creative Loafing Magazine’s critic’s choice for Best Local Singer/Songwriter. He’s the 2013 Georgia State Champion Harmonica Player and the 2013 Flagpole Magazine Athens 25th anniversary theme song contest winner. His music has appeared in movies, television and on the radio.

Coley Station rounds out the line-up with a blend of progressive picking with traditional bluegrass harmonies.

If one day of fun isn’t enough, Dauset Trails will host its annual Easter egg hunt this year on Sunday at 2 p.m. The free hunt will take place in the front field. Food and drink will be sold and in addition to the egg hunt, there also will be other activities for kids.

“We love this festival,” Respess said. “We’re excited about it and we hope everyone will have as much fun as we’re planning to have. Everyone should come out for both days and enjoy Dauset Trails to the fullest. We have 400 acres of scenic woods, fields, creeks and lakes. You can see native, live animals, hike and bike 20 miles of trails, enjoy wildflower landscapes, picnic and a lot more.”

Bluebirds and Bluegrass Festival

When: 9 a.m. April 12

Where: Dauset Trails, 360 Mount Vernon Church Road, Jackson

Cost: Free

Information: www.dausettrails.com, 770-775-6798

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