Grab the fishing pole and a lawn chair

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

A visit to Roaring River will include Bluegrass music for the summer

Over the sound of the summer frogs and crickets, and the rushing water at Roaring River, people will also hear the tunes of Bluegrass music through the air in the summer months.

Wayne Clevenger, member of The Flyin Buzzards, said Bluegrass in Roaring River is a great family-friendly event all summer long.

“The event starts on Memorial Day weekend, on both Friday and Saturday night,” he said. “From then until the Fourth of July weekend, the event will only be on Saturday nights from 7-9 p.m.”

On the Fourth of July weekend, it will be Friday and Saturday 7-9 p.m., then will go back to only Saturday nights 7-9 p.m.

“On July 24 we will bring back Friday and Saturday night from 7-9 p.m. all through the end of September,” Clevenger said. “There will be 10 different bands playing for people throughout the summer.”

The event is free to anyone who would like to hear the Bluegrass music in Roaring River.

“We will be set up at the Roaring River Shelter, instead of the Amphitheater this year,” he said. “We have done this for 12 years or more. It all started about 30 years ago, but there was a time that it stopped for a few years.”

Clevenger said Tim Smith, the former Roaring River manager, said he wanted to bring it back, so after years of not having Bluegrass in Roaring River, the event came back.

“I’d tell people to bring lawn chairs and come to have a good time,” Clevenger said. “We put out a tip box for the bands. That is the only money the bands receive, but the event is completely free to the public.”

There is no alcohol allowed at the events.

“I book the groups for the whole summer,” he said. “It is a lot of work, but I start pretty early in the year preparing. The groups we have that agree to do the event are great.”

Clevenger said the event is an experience for the bands, but it means so much to the people who come to watch.

“There was one night we played more than the two-hour slot,” he said. “For some reason, we were just really into it. Afterward this woman came up and asked if she could hug my neck.

“She said she had just buried someone and her children suggested her and her husband go to the music. She told me, ‘It keeps our minds away from the sad.’”

Clevenger said it is stories like that that make all of it worth it.

“This music is about the people, just as much as it is for us,” he said. “We love to look out and see smiling faces, especially the children.”

There are 10 bands scheduled over the summer to bring Bluegrass to Roaring River including The Flyin Buzzards, Sugar Mountain Band, The Mayfields, Ozark Mt. Five, No Apparent Reason, Spillwater Drive, Ozark Mt. Revival, Red Bridge Bluegrass, The Bakers & Friends, and the Possum Trot Band.

The events are from 7-9 p.m. at the Roaring River Shelter, every Friday starting May 28, and every Friday and Saturday from July 24 to Sept. 25.

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