Second annual Bluegrass & BBQ sees success

Special to the Enquirer

Bluegrass and BBQ recently brought premier entertainment and great barbecue to Hartselle while raising money for the city’s American Legion Post 52.

With Cerrowire as the presenting sponsor, the second annual festival was a huge success according to event organizers.

“The weather was perfect, the bands played great music and the BBQ was outstanding,” said coordinator and Legion member Brian Williams, who added that the event nearly doubled in size from last year.

Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) and Representative Scott Stadthagen (R-Hartselle) sponsored the event entertainment, bringing five bands full of local flavor to the festival with BarefootandBoots kicking off the entertainment just before lunch. The FBC Pickers of Guntersville played some old-time gospel hits and Cam and Luke with guest soloist Katie Beth belting out a tribute to Johnny Cash. As Connie and Allen took the stage, their originals and classic bluegrass had the crowd tapping their toes and singing along.

The headline group, Iron Horse, took the stage just before 6 p.m. Williams said he spoke with several in the crowd who were impressed with the big-name talent. “One couple asked me how we got such a well-known band like Iron Horse,” he said. “They told me they drove over from Huntsville just to catch them playing live.”

Hartselle High School junior Carter Coan set up his blacksmith forge at the event and gave demonstrations on his self-taught craft. “It is always a little warm next to the forge and I got a lot of exercise swinging the hammer today, but it is so neat to show people what can be made with a simple piece of flat iron,” he said.

Area Boy Scouts were recognized at the event as Brayden Shultz had just refurbished the cannons on display in front of the Legion and the Troop performed a flag retirement ceremony that afternoon.

Several performers with Kim’s Star Twirlers entertained the crowd with their baton and dance skills during a break between bands.

“This is one of our major fundraisers for the year and we put a lot of work into being a family friendly destination for this event,” Legion Post Commander Mike Ferguson said. “All the proceeds go to helping our community’s veterans as well as the Legion youth programs including Boys and Girls’ State.

“Our post in Hartselle is growing and we are doing our best to make this place even better than it already is,” Williams added. “The volunteerism of these veterans and their spouses is extraordinary. All of us are unpaid, with the only reward coming from giving back to our community.”

“It really says something about the character of an organization to see dozens of volunteers come out to work at an event like this,” he said. “And I think that is what makes Hartselle such a great place to live.”

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