BY RUTH RICE
Bluegrass plus a variety of outdoor activities will make for a down-home weekend.
The sixth annual Laurel Hill Bluegrass Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday at Laurel Hill State Park Complex, 1454 Laurel Hill Park Road, Somerset.
The annual bluegrass festival, which is held the third weekend of August, has a lineup of bluegrass bands, his-tory re-enactors with hands-on demonstrations, a 5K run/walk, horse-drawn wagon rides, a climbing wall, food and craft vendors, and children’s activities.
“We usually get between 7,000 and 10,000 people over the course of the weekend,” said Mike Mumau, a park ranger at Laurel Hill. “There are two entrances to Laurel Hill, and there will be signs at both to direct.”
Bluegrass groups performing Saturday will be Grand Ole Ditch, noon; Mountain Therapy, 1 p.m.; Colebrook Road, 2 p.m.; Blue Shades, 3 p.m.; Grand Ole Ditch, 4 p.m.; Mountain Therapy, 5 p.m.; Colebrook Road, 6 p.m.; and Blue Shades, 7 p.m.
Sunday will begin with the Mountain Laurel 5k Run/Walk at 9 a.m.
Participants will travel along the main park road to the bridge at Laurel Hill Creek, then turn around and head back toward Group Camp No. 8.
“It’s challenging, but beautiful,” Mumau said.
Entry forms can be downloaded at www.friendsoflhsp.org, and registration will be held from 8 to 8:45 a.m. at Group Camp No. 8.
Fees are $18 for pre-entry and $20 on race day.
The deadline for pre-registration is Thursday.
A church service will be held at 10 a.m. at the main stage.
Sunday’s bluegrass will feature Allegheny Drifters, 11 a.m.; Mon River Ramblers, noon; Midnight Drive, 1 p.m.; Allegheny Drifters, 2 p.m.; Mon River Ramblers, 3 p.m.; and Midnight Drive, 4 p.m.
The re-enactor village and food and craft vendors will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The re-enactor village will show visitors what life was like in the late 1800s.
“There will be coopering, blacksmithing, tinsmithing, muzzleloading, flintlocks, maps and compasses, and scrimshaw,” Mumau said. “These were the tools of the trade.
“They will give demonstrations and sell their items. Many are volunteers from Somerset Historical Center.
“A popular event is learning how to throw tomahawks and primitive knives,” Mumau said.
Mumau said food vendors will have a little bit of everything, the finest in fair and festival food.
“Somerset County Dairy Association will have ice cream, and that’s very popular,” he said.
Crafts will range from chain-saw carvers to woodworkers.
“There will be fresh produce, jams, jellies, sauces, honey, maple syrup and maple goods,” Mumau said. “It’s great local flavor.”
Children’s activities will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
“There will be a tent for them to express themselves through arts and crafts,” Mumau said. “Venture Outdoors will have a climbing wall Saturday.
“There will be wagon rides Sunday.”
If you go ...
What: Sixth annual Laurel Hill Bluegrass Festival.
When: Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Laurel Hill State Park Complex, 1454 Laurel Hill Park Road, Somerset.
Information: 445-7725 or www.friendsoflhsp.org.