Beat the Memorial Day weekend heat at Gathering in the Gap

Mike Still • May 23, 2019 at 1:09 PM

BIG STONE GAP — Big Stone Gap and the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park celebrate Memorial Day weekend Saturday with their annual Gathering in the Gap festival.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the museum grounds.

Southwest Virginia Museum Park manager Aaron Davis said parking will be available at Bullitt Park, with Mountain Empire Transit running free shuttle buses from opening to closing.

Musical performances start at 10 a.m. with the Acoustic Arbor series of performers:

— 10 a.m.: Pro-Art and Junior Appalachian Musicians’ WiseJAMS

— 11 a.m.: Tyler Smith

— Noon: Winners of the songwriting and old-time and bluegrass competitions

— 1 p.m.: Empty Bottle String Band

— 2 p.m.: Ron Short

— 3 p.m.: Town Branch Bluegrass

This year, the Gathering features the Tim O’Brien Band with Tony Trischka, Love Canon, Cellogram featuring Dave Eggar and Chuck Palmer, Holler Jake and other acts.

The old-time and bluegrass competition gives traditional musicians a chance to show their stuff in categories including bluegrass mandolin, bluegrass guitar, bluegrass band, old-time band, banjo and fiddle. The competitions start at 10 a.m., and registration ends 15 minutes before each category starts. More information can be found at the competitions page at www.gatheringinthegap.org.

The songwriting contest starts at 1 p.m. and features entries and performances by finalists:

— Donald Ball: “Norman Rockwell & The Waltons”

— Joe Carico: “The Climb”

— Barrett Carr: “Everything Counts” and “Until the Bitter End”

— Claire Childress: “For Me”

— Madison Childress: “Memory”

— Bobby Fleming: “Dead or Alive”

— Kevin Hale: “A Good Old Fiddle Tune” and “We Die To Live Again”

— Autumn Newsome: “Callin’ My Name”

At 3 p.m., the Shoestring Theatre Company’s “Haint So” treats the audience to a tale about a Sunday round of ghost tales, Appalachian folklore and superstitions. “Haint So” will be performed in the Southwest Virginia Museum’s parlor, and admission is free.

Daytime general admission is free, and the museum grounds will house various arts and crafts displays as well as food trucks. Check the vendors page at www.gatheringinthegap.org. for a list.

Evening performances at the Gathering in the Gap will be held near the museum’s rail car. Cellogram, featuring Dave Eggar and Chuck Palmer, and Holler Jake kick off the evening entertainment at 5:30.

Love Canon blends bluegrass with ’80s and ’90s pop tunes, starting at 6:45.

The Tim O’Brien Band featuring banjoist Tony Trishka at 8 rounds out the night’s musical entertainment.

Tickets for evening performances are $15 per person. Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.

For more information, visit the Gathering in the Gap website: www.gatheringinthegap.org.

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