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AV Music festival returns

The spring edition of the Arcadia Valley Mountain Music Festival will bring an assortment of bluegrass, country and gospel music artists to southeast Missouri when it returns this weekend on the grounds of the Iron County Courthouse in Ironton.

The festival was begun more than 10 years ago by local musician Bobby Powell who wanted to showcase top-notch musical talent, while at the same time introduce music lovers to the picturesque Arcadia Valley. For more than a decade, the audiences have only continued to grow.

Along with a weekend of live music, the free biannual three-day event, sponsored by the Arcadia Valley Chamber of Commerce, will feature craft and food vendors, as well as special activities for kids of all ages.

“Show-Me Amusements will be here with their carnival rides,” said Brian Parker, chamber president. “There’s also going to be a free petting zoo where kids can feed corn to chickens, along with getting to pet baby bunnies and other animals. Claire Hemphill and friends at Earthshine Acres are sponsoring the activity.”

Musicians and entertainers appearing over the course of the three days include Ozark Mountain Harmony, Po’ Anna Bluegrass Band, Country Fire Cloggers, The Punches, Highway 36 Bluegrass and Three Crooked Men.

“The weekend kicks off Friday at 6 p.m. with Pickin’ On the Square,” Parker said. “It’s a great chance for amateur and professional musicians to perform everything from bluegrass to gospel to Cajun. We invite everyone to bring their guitar or ukulele and join in.”

Here’s a little information about the musicians and other entertainers who will be performing at the spring festival:

Ozark Mountain Harmony’s members all live in or around Ironton and Fredericktown. According to the group, it performs a “wide range of music that appeals to just about everyone at every show.”

Highway 36 Bluegrass says it features “grassed-up country, hard-driving bluegrass and soulful gospel music.” The group is made up of four Arkansas musicians who joined together three years ago after playing in various bands over the years. Their music is inspired by the likes of IIIrd Tyme Out, Larry Sparks and Bill Monroe.

The Punches is a bluegrass gospel group who make their home in Fredericktown. Bruce and Bobette Punch, along with their four children, play instruments and sing. The group has been performing nationwide at churches, festivals, fairs and other special events since 2009. They’ve also been featured on the TV show, Great American Gospel.

Po’ Anna is made up of Emalee Flatness, who started playing bluegrass at the age of 10; Becca Ash, who comes from a long line of bluegrass musicians; Justus Ross, who started playing guitar when he was 6; and Joey Shann, who has been picking banjo since the age of 14.

Country Fire Cloggers is a traditional clogging team from Ellsinore and Piedmont that delivers a double-tap style of clogging performed to bluegrass and popular tunes. Country Fire members have won numerous awards at competitions held in Branson. Last year the group brought home the overall Traditional Team award.

Three Crooked Men is an American old-time string band based in St. Louis. The group describes its music as “old-time square dance tunes rubbing shoulders with hillbilly songs and pre-bluegrass picking.”

Also, a barn dance will be held from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday on the courthouse square featuring nationally-known caller Jim Hemphill, who learned to call so he could bring contra dance to the Arcadia Valley. Hemphill regularly calls squares and contra dances in Urbana, Columbia, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Cape Girardeau and St. Louis.

“We are looking forward to having a good turnout for the music festival again this spring,” Parker said. “The chamber expects to see a lot of familiar faces and new ones, too, that weekend.”

For more information, go to http://www.mountainmusicfestival.net/spring-lineup.html

Friday

6 p.m. Pickers at the gazebo and around the courthouse square

Saturday

10 a.m. – Ozark Mountain Harmony

11 a.m. – Po’ Anna Bluegrass Band

11:45 p.m. – Country Fire Cloggers

Noon – The Punches

1 p.m. – Highway 36 Bluegrass

1:45 p.m. – Country Fire Cloggers

2 p.m. – Ozark Mountain Harmony

3 p.m. – Po’ Anna Bluegrass Band

4 p.m. – Three Crooked Men

5 p.m. – The Punches

6 p.m. – Highway 36 Bluegrass

7-9:30 p.m. – Three Crooked Men and barn dance at courthouse square

Sunday

Noon – Ozark Mountain Harmony

1 p.m. – Po’ Anna Bluegrass Band

2 p.m. – The Punches

The crowds keep getting bigger at the Arcadia Valley Mountain Music Festival that's held in the spring and fall of each year. The spring edition returns this weekend to the Iron County Courthouse grounds in Ironton. The three-day event features free bluegrass, country and gospel music.

The crowds keep getting bigger at the Arcadia Valley Mountain Music Festival that’s held in the spring and fall of each year. The spring edition returns this weekend to the Iron County Courthouse grounds in Ironton. The three-day event features free bluegrass, country and gospel music.

Along with the weekend of free music, the AV Mountain Music Festival is a great place to check out craft vendors and enjoy an assortment of snacks and drinks. This year there will also be carnival rides on site for the kids.

Along with the weekend of free music, the AV Mountain Music Festival is a great place to check out craft vendors and enjoy an assortment of snacks and drinks. This year there will also be carnival rides on site for the kids.

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or kjenkins@dailyjournalonline.com

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