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38th Raccoon Creek Bluegrass Festival set for this weekend in north Paulding
by Savannah Weeks
sweeks@neighbornewspapers.com
July 12, 2012 09:35 AM | 1345 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, Wendell Hardy and wife Rene pause between festival preparations in front of the main stage for the Raccoon Creek Bluegrass Festival, scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
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Lovers of bluegrass music can look forward to another Raccoon Creek Bluegrass Festival this weekend in north Paulding County.

This year’s festival is set for Friday, July 13, and Saturday, July 14, at Raccoon Creek Music Park, off Ga. Hwy. 61 and Tibbetts Road north of Dallas.

“I would imagine this is the county’s longest running event,” said Wendell Hardy, event organizer. The festival was started in 1974 by Hardy’s in-laws, Wylie and Annette Rakestraw.

Bands will perform Friday from 6 to 10:30 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 10:30 p.m.. This year’s headlining act is the Lonesome River Band. It will be the band’s first time playing the festival. The Virginia band is also celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, according to Hardy.

Nine other bands will play over the weekend, some local, with others traveling from Mississippi, North Carolina and Alabama.

Hardy said he expects about 500 to 600 attendees, with about half traveling 100 or more miles to listen to the bands, play music and socialize.

“We have people come from just about every southeastern state,” said Hardy.

The park has about 50 RV sites for camping.

“A lot of those people come back from year to year,” said Hardy. “People come to hear the music, play music or socialize.”

Hardy said most of the bands playing at this year’s festival have played at the festival before and have a local following.

Some of the local bands playing this year include the Old Mill Road Band from Cartersville, the East Dixie Boys from Atlanta, the Bruce Weeks Family Band from Atlanta and Barbwire Bluegrass, whose members hail from Manchester and Cumming.

Hardy said most of the members of each band have full-time jobs outside of their music.

“They do it as a hobby,” said Hardy. “Because they enjoy it, and they love music.”

Tickets for the weekend cost $25. Friday night tickets are $12, and tickets for Saturday cost $15.
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