Bluegrass Christmas in Dixie tonight
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 3, 2003
When it's Christmas in Dixie, the sounds of the season are often strummed on the strings of acoustic instruments. So, bluegrass and Christmas in Dixie just traditionally go together.
That mix will be celebrated at the Bluegrass Christmas in Dixie concerts Thursday through Saturday at Swindall's RV Park in Troy.
Mike Swindall, park owner, said six bands from across the Southeast will perform a variety of music, including bluegrass, gospel and country beginning at 6 p.m. tonight.
"The featured band will be Gary Waldrep and the Gary Waldrep Band from Boaz," Swindall said. "Gary is the best banjo player in the South. He has several recordings to his credit and he teaches five-string banjo. He plays banjo the old claw-hammer style, in the tradition of Grandpa Jones. He is outstanding."
Opening the show tonight will be a local favorite, the Lighthouse String Ensemble. Long Leaf, from Milton, Fla. will also perform along with the Gary Waldrep Band.
"After the show tonight, we'll have hospitality hour and serve cookies, cakes and coffee and decorate our huge Christmas tree," Swindall said. "Everyone is invited to bring an ornament to put on the tree in honor or memory of a loved one. We'll keep the ornaments and put them on the tree each year because this will be an annual event."
Swindall said the large indoor facility is decorated for Christmas, making it a great atmosphere for the three-day bluegrass concert.
The show will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday. The groups scheduled to perform on those days are Magnolia Bluegrass Band, Jackson, Miss.; the Larkin Family, Nashville; Harold and Ovaline Andrews, Mobile; Fontana Sunset, Atlanta; Cedar Creek, Panama City; and the Gary Waldrep Band.
"We'll have concessions every night and not just snacks," Swindall said. "We'll also have catfish and hamburger steak plates, hamburgers and barbecue.
Swindall said he expects a huge crowd for Bluegrass Christmas in Dixie.
"We already have 160 camper reservations, but you don't have to be a camper to come," he said. "Anyone who enjoys bluegrass, gospel or country music will have a great time. Bluegrass Christmas in Dixie is an event for the entire family. It's good, clean wholesome fun and we invite everyone to come out and enjoy these three days with us.
"All of the bands are outstanding. You won't find a better group of bands anywhere. It's going to be a great holiday event."
Tickets for the shows are $15 on Thursday and Friday and $20 on Saturday. A weekend pass is $35. Children under 12 are admitted free with their family.