Festival aims for low-key fun
Marion County Lake’s seventh annual Bluegrass at the Lake festival Saturday will once again be a relaxed entertainment event, lake superintendent Steve Hudson said.
“We’re not trying to be another Winfield,” Hudson said, alluding to the Walnut Valley Festival in September.
Hudson doesn’t want the festival to grow so big that it would take a lot of sponsors.
Margie Schwartz lives at the lake with her husband, Dick, and she is a fan of the event.
“What’s not to like?” she asked. “We get to enjoy really cool music. It’s really beautiful, sitting on the hill, looking out over the lake. You can’t beat it for the money.”
The festival, near the lake’s swimming beach, is free to the public. A group of volunteers renovated the stage with new decking and skirting this year, Hudson said.
The festival will have an open stage from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday with a cash prize for the best performance. Eighty Proof Engine will play from 6 to 8, and Fast Food Junkies will play from 8 to 10. The bands are more up-tempo than some of the bands in the past, Hudson said.
A half-dozen local businesses and groups along with out-of-town businessmen with residences at the lake annually underwrite the festival and this year donated half the cost of all-weather decking.
“One gentleman from Wichita who has nursing homes there gives $2,500 a year just because he has a residence here and enjoys what goes on at the lake,” Hudson said.