Weekend Warriors

Area festival gear up for fall season

Neavill’s Grove among oldest in state

Staff Report

(August 2003) – The 118th Annual Old Settlers Meeting will be held Aug. 29-31 at Neavill’s Grove, located on Deputy Pike about six miles northwest of Madison. The free event will include contests, games, fellowship, food and entertainment, and is open to the public.
“It’s a big family picnic,” said Bill Ford, a Neavill’s Grove Association director and fourth-generation member.
A local tradition, the first Old Settlers Meeting was first held on the last Saturday in August 1885 on the old George Neavill Sr. farm in Smyrna Township. Then, as now, community residents converged at the property to enjoy one another’s company and a day of recreation on the farm. The only stipulations to the event made by Neavill were that no alcohol or games of chance were allowed and that any trees cut down during the festivity be replaced.
In June 1916, Neavill’s grandson, Edward Neavill, donated 12 acres of the family farm to the Neavill’s Grove Association to be used as community picnic and recreational grounds and to be preserved for its historic significance and beauty.
In 1924, an additional eight acres was given to the association. To this day, the property has been preserved as Neavill intended and the event, now three days long, is still held over the last Saturday in August. This year’s activities will begin at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, with a spaghetti dinner, followed by a fiddle contest at 7 p.m.
The official opening will be at 10 a.m. Saturday. Activities that day include a crosscut saw contest, bake-off, talent contest, old tractors parade, horseshoe pitching contest, musical entertainment and a homemade ham and bean supper at 4 p.m. A worship service will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday, followed by a tractor parade and chicken dinner at noon and children’s games at 1 p.m. Gospel music will be featured during the afternoon hours. The family-oriented event will be alcohol-free.

• For more information, call Merle Rowlett at (812) 866-3367 or LaVerne Austin at (812) 866-4656.

Prince of Peace festival has fun for families

The Prince of Peace annual community festival will be held Aug. 22-23 on the lawn in front of Pope John Paul Grade School, located at 221 S. State St. Festivities will begin at 3 p.m. Friday with the opening of a midway featuring rides and games. A traditional spaghetti dinner will be offered from 5-7 p.m. for $6 per person; $3 for children 6-under. The Shawe Memorial High School Band will perform.
The midway will open again at 3 p.m. Saturday. Other activities scheduled that day include live music for 21 and under by the band Sulfate, gaming tents and children’s booths. A chicken dinner will be offered from 5-7:30 p.m. for $7 per person; $3.50 for children 6-under. Both the Pope John and Shawe show choirs will perform on Saturday.
The midway will be open until 11 p.m. both evenings. Karaoke, a beer garden, and a food booth sponsored by the PTO will be available both days. Funds raised from the event will go toward operating expenses of the schools. • For more information contact Sharon Rucker at (812) 273-5104.

Bluegrass Festival to feature many local acts

Pick 'N Time
The band Pick ‘N Time will perform
at the Bluegrass Festival.

A whole lot of pickin’ and grinnin’ will take place at the Jefferson County 4-H Fairgrounds on Aug. 1-2 during the third annual Great Free Bluegrass Music Festival. Sponsored by the Jefferson County Bluegrass Music Association, the event begins at 6 p.m. Friday and continues through Saturday night. The final band will take the stage at 10 p.m.
Eleven different bands are scheduled to play at this year’s festival, including professional groups New Found Road, Kentucky Blue, Pickin’ Time and the James King Band. Other performers will include a variety of local and regional bands.
Bluegrass music fans of all ages are encouraged to bring out blankets and lawn chairs for several hours of quality entertainment each day. But you don’t have to be a die-hard fan to attend.
“If they’re not familiar with bluegrass, this a good opportunity to come and get acquainted with it when you don’t have to pay,” said festival organizer and music association member Mike Brown.
The free event is made possible by the association. It was organized about 10 years ago for the betterment of bluegrass music in the area, according to Brown. The group holds concerts at the fairgrounds each month, which typically draw around 300 to 400 bluegrass music enthusiasts.
Brown said the fairgrounds is the perfect location for such an event because of the amount of space to spread out. Camping, with water and electrical hook-ups, is available on a first-come, first-serve basis for a fee of $15 per day. Parking for the festival is $2 per car. A food court featuring Smokin’ Lizzie and KT’s Hot Dog Express will be open both days, and a Martin D-28 guitar donated by This Old Guitar of Columbus, Ind., will be raffled off during the event.

For more information, call (812) 866-2826 or visit: www.bluegrasspro.com.

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