Friday, June 15, 2012

Magnolia Park Bluegrass Festival

Terry and I drove up to the Magnolia Park Bluegrass Festival right next to Lake Apopka (2929 S. Binion Road Apopka). This was the 13th Annual Music Festival sponsored by the Orange County Parks and Recreation. It cost just $3 to  get in the park. Huge old Live Oaks offered shade with the long branches draped with Spanish Moss. Terry and I brought our camping chairs and we found a spot and relaxed.

There was a tractor trailer container that was converted into a stage. Three sides of the container folded open using strong air pistons. Support struts anchored the setup leaving half the wheels off the ground. The stage was set up at the edge of a football field sized sink hole which was dry since it hadn't rained in weeks.

The first act on the stage was The Ramblin' Rose Band.  Formed in 1981, this is a family-based band spanning three generations from Bowling Green, Florida. I loved that Loretta Wilson, the mom, now in her 80's kept right up with her daughters as she played Rhythm Guitar. Between sets, Renee Riddle on fiddle reminded the audience that there is free Bluegrass music every Friday Evening behind the Twistee Treat on Maguire Road in Ocoee. I sketched there once and now I want to go back for more Parkin' Lot Pickin'.

Terry and I stayed all day. We ordered BBQ from a food truck and got some ice cream to cool down in the Florida heat.  In all, six bands played that day. There was Moonlite Express, Pine Creek, Porchdogs, Seminole Ridge and New River Bluegrass. [As the sun sank towards the horizon, The Ramblin' Rose Band returned to the stage. I moved  closer towards the stage and did another sketch in a small sketchbook. It was a high energy day of pickin' and strummin'.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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