Jul 11, 2012 05:31 AM WV Sound
Keeping a beat in the Mountain State
Pickin' in Parsons
In the small West Virginia town of Parsons, with a population of less than 1,500, John Bowers and his wife, Joyce, more than double the number of people in town when they put on their annual bluegrass festival. Each year, the Pickin’ in Parsons Bluegrass Festival draws in more than 2,000 attendees.
Tucked in the rolling hills of Parsons just off of the Shavers Fork riverbanks, you won’t want to miss this foot-stompin’, ground-shakin’ good time. The 9th Annual Pickin’ in Parsons is scheduled to take place August 2 to 4, 2012, at Five River Campground. More than a dozen bluegrass acts will take the stage every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Campground owners John and Joyce are both amateur musicians who love music and people. John plays guitar and bass while Joyce plays the fiddle. “We enjoy carrying on the tradition of Appalachia with our festival,” says John. The duo started the festival nine years ago when they were looking for a change of pace.
It did not take long for the festival to catch on. Only one year later, John decided they needed to have a campground for people to stay overnight. “There really aren’t a lot of local hotels in the area,” he says. “This is the kind of atmosphere where people like to camp. They only get to see each other once a year after all.” Last year, visitors from 30 states and a few different countries attended the festival. Bands from England and Scotland have even traveled overseas to perform in the small country town.
The festival is alcohol and drug-free. “If you want to stay on our beautiful, family-friendly grounds in a safe environment while celebrating bluegrass tradition, this is the place to be,” says John.
Both full-service RV and field camping are available. The full-service RV campground features water, sewage, electric, cable, and WiFi. Spots are available on a first come, first serve basis at $25 a night. Field camping is available for $5 a night. A dump station, generator section, restrooms, and showers are available. The only thing John asks is that guests bring their own chairs to put under the covered pavilion. “Rain or shine, the show goes on,” he says. “We’re here to promote the music.”
For the weekend, tickets are $65 per person, children under 12 are free. A day price is $30. Tickets can be ordered at fiverivercampground.com.
See the music:
FRIDAY The Special Consensus, Lost and Found, The Bluegrass Brothers, Nu-Blu, Heather Berry and Tony