Over the years, countless artists have called the mountains of North Carolina home, and many continue to flock to this region to be inspired by the ideal climate and stunning scenery that characterizes the High Country. People tend to associate the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with arts and crafts, but the visual arts are not the only medium in which our residents excel. Throughout the centuries, the residents of the Appalachian Mountains have developed their own distinct style of music, and consequently, many influential musicians have emerged from this area. This weekend, the public is invited to celebrate the life and times of one such musician, Ola Belle Reed, at the fifth annual Ola Belle Reed Festival in Lansing NC.
From August 13th through the 15th, fans of bluegrass, old-time, Americana, folk, and Celtic music will gather at Lansing Creeper Trail Park in Lansing NC to pay homage to one of the area’s most notable talents. A variety of musicians will be on hand to commemorate the life of this unique woman, and acts like The Mosier Brothers, The Sheets Family Band, None of the Above, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Steve and Ruth Smith, Ceol Linn, CELTIC with bagpipes and the Ola Belle Reed Family will pay their respects during this weekend-long festival.
In an effort to make the festival more accessible to the public, this year’s organizers have opted to waive admission fees. They have also moved the festival to a new location: Lansing Creeper Trail Park. The park not only offers more shade (a necessity in this record heat) but its proximity to the town of Lansing will provide attendees with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with local shops, galleries, and restaurants while enjoying the tunes of these regionally renowned musicians. Also new this year is the Porchestra, a recreation of an old-fashioned pickin’ session during which a variety of musicians will come together to create unique sounds and discuss the genres that inspire them most. Would-be performers interested in honing their own skills will have the opportunity to learn a few things at the free banjo, guitar, old-time, harmony, fiddle, and flatfoot dance workshops that will be offered on Saturday.
Though admission is free, donations are greatly appreciated as part of this festival’s purpose is to raise funds for the Greater Lansing Area Development (GLAD), a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing Lansing’s economy while safeguarding its history and traditions for future generations. The Lansing Fire Department will be doing its part to raise funds by providing hungry festival-goers with an assortment of delicious fare, including barbecue chicken, barbecue sandwiches, funnel cakes, lemonade, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, and more.
The fifth annual Ola Belle Reed Festival will take place from Friday to Sunday, August 13th through the 15th. Festivities will be in full swing from 5:00 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, from 12:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, and from 11:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. All are invited to celebrate the legacy of this legendary performer and hopefully learn more about the quaint town of Lansing North Carolina in the process.
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