-- — Over 40 groups and solo musicians will perform at four locations during the free Metamora Old-Time Music Festival Sept. 1-2, reports Gail Ginther, Metamora, who organizes the Making Music area.
Jim and Connie Wendel began the weekend at their Lane’s End Barn 14 years ago. She describes it as “just pleasant. That’s kind of an understatement. When you’re sitting there under that tent and you’re watching these wonderful artists perform, all of a sudden you realize the canal boat is floating past you at eye level. It’s just amazing. People are entranced by that scene. It’s rural Indiana.”
Steve Kristoff, Oldenburg, who schedules performances, reports, “The music is all acoustic. We will have performers playing primarily bluegrass, old-timey Appalachian style and folk music. A few performers will be including traditional country, some blues and a fair amount of gospel in their sets. If it had a label, I would call it Americana.”
Different sounds are offered as frequently as each half hour.
Hours at Lane’s End Barn Back Porch, adjacent to the Whitewater Canal’s aqueduct east of Metamora, considered the main stage, are from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
Musicians will perform in the center of town at the Bane House, a two-story brick on Main Street; and the Wagon Stage in Duck Creek Crossing, a shopping area southwest of the village’s center, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.
Musicians also are booked at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday at the Grist Mill. Sunday it’s the site of the popular Slow Jam from 1-4 p.m. According to Kristoff, “It is deliberately open to everybody – rookies and old-timers. We want people to bring their instruments or their voices and join in the fun.”
Demonstrations, displays and workshops will be offered at the Making Music area along the Whitewater Canal from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday.
Workshops being planned include beginning dulcimer and fiddle with student instruments provided, banjo, clawhammer banjo, plectrum banjo, thumb pick guitar, mandolin, harmonica and hammered dulcimer.
Organizers are celebrating the fifth anniversary of The Tillers’ first performance there at 3 p.m. Saturday. The band was voted top Cincinnati Entertainment Awards Folk/Americana Group in both 2009 and 2010.
Also on this year’s lineup: Dean Phelps, Greenwood, the 2012 National Thumb Pick Guitar Champion; Brian Keith Wallen, Cambridge City, the 2011 Cincy Blues Challenge winner; and CEA nominees Magnolia Mountain, Hickory Robot, Ma Crow and The Ladyslippers and Shiny and The Spoon, all hailing from Cincinnati.
Making their first appearance will be Hungrytown, West Townshend, Vt. “This delightful duo will be at the Whitewater Valley Railroad ticket office on Saturday and on the Back Porch at 3 p.m. on Sunday,” she reports.
Hungry guests will have options. Metamora Lions will run a food concession at the Back Porch. A handful of restaurants will be open, at least one until 7 p.m., with others nearby serving later.
Listeners should bring chairs rather than blankets so they’re able to see the musicians.
Free parking in a field by Lane's End can be accessed off of U.S. 52 east of town.
Kristoff marvels there is “no admission charge for any music, no charge for workshops. This is all done with help from our sponsors, grants and hard-working volunteers,” who include Al Rogers and Jim Wendel, in charge of operations.
The fest is organized by Historic Metamora Inc. and supported by the Franklin County community, Ginther says. Some activities are made possible by a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission through its Region 9 Arts Partner, the Columbus Area Arts Council, and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Schedules for performances and workshops can be found online at the site metamoramusic.pbworks. com or the Metamora Music Festival Page on Facebook.
More family fun
The Whitewater Canal State Historic Site grist mill will be operating and horse-drawn canal boat rides can be enjoyed at noon-4 p.m. on the hour. Tickets are $2-$5 with toddlers and seniors 90+ free. Info: 765-647-6512.
Camping is available at Whitewater Valley Gateway Park, U.S. 52, Metamora. Info: 765-647-2541.
The Whitewater Valley Railroad will offer Valley Flyer excursions from the Connersville depot to Metamora at 12:01 p.m. both days. After a two-hour layover, the train will depart from Metamora at 3:30 p.m. Round-trip fares are $22 for adults and $14 for kids and one-way fares are $16 and $9. To make reservations: 765-825-2054 or www.whitewatervalleyrr.org.
Hikers can enjoy the scenery along the free Whitewater Canal Trail, which begins east of town.