All in the Family

What started eight years ago as a small, privately run music festival has become a big draw for Buckeye, almost entirely through word of mouth. But the secret to the success of the Buckeye Bluegrass and Old-Time Country Revue lies in its family roots.

Kala Parker, assistant director of the Buckeye Chamber of Commerce, admits she's had much personal experience with the event. "It used to be just our family running it, working the gates and doing everything," she says. Parker's father-in-law, Dale, owns the 160-acre ranch that's become a destination for bluegrass fans from across the country.

Now, for the second year, the chamber and the Buckeye Mainstreet Coalition are involved in running the show. It's a good thing, too, because last year about 2,500 people attended the performances, with 300 RVs pulling into the campgrounds on-site.

Still, the bluegrass revue has retained its family atmosphere. Visitors even bring their own instruments for impromptu jam sessions in the parking lot. "It's such a laid-back setup, and really friendly," Parker adds.

Food, crafts vendors and an antique tractor display will give visitors a chance to stroll. And parents will welcome activities to keep the kiddies occupied, including puppet shows and music workshops.

Onstage, 16 knee-slappin' bands will fill up three days of music. Headlining on Saturday will be Rounder record label's the Schankman Twins, whose identical sibling vocals harmonize flawlessly. Another anticipated act is the Cherryholmes Family, an honest-to-goodness bluegrass Brady Bunch, made up of mom, pop and four talented kids ages 9 to 17.

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Michele Laudig
Contact: Michele Laudig