The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

June 6, 2013

Making a joyful noise

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — FULTON, Ill. — String up those banjos and grab a guitar because the Bluegrass/Folk Festival is coming to Fulton.

Heritage Canyon will play host to the festival June 15 from 1 to 6 p.m. It will feature five unique bands with musicians traveling from as far as Wisconsin and Peoria, Ill., to perform.

Music promoter and musician Bob Whitten has been working with the Fulton community to organize the event.

“The city has really rallied together on this. (Mayor) Larry Russell has been a huge supporter and things are really coming together,” Whitten said.

His motivation for putting the festival on came from last year’s Dutch Days celebration and a little from his wife.

“She told me to go out and find something I am passionate about. Last year, I played Dutch Days with my band, The Wise Apple Riders, and that is what inspired us to do this,” Whitten said.

Although the festival is based on the music, it is very much geared towards family fun and entertainment.

Guests are encouraged to explore the old-time environment of Heritage Canyon while enjoying the rhythmic sounds of Bluegrass music and the sweet taste of barbecue.

D’s Smokin’ BBQ will be dishing up summer staples like pulled pork sandwiches, rib eye sandwiches, hamburgers and hot dogs.

Whitten is still trying to get other vendors involved to make the festival just a little more kid-friendly.

“I am working on getting a face painter here but all of our volunteers are very kid-oriented so I know they will have a good time,” Whitten said.

Parking attendants will be on hand at Heritage Canyon and a shuttle bus will be available for overflow parking at the First Christian Reformed Church on 14th Avenue.

There will be transportation inside the festival for guests who have difficulties traveling through the park.

Whitten expects the festival to draw more than 1,000 people.

“Bluegrass music is really growing popularity so we expect next year to be even bigger than this year,” he said.

Admission to the event will be $5 per person and $10 per family.

Concert Schedule: •The Matriarch at 1 p.m. •The Wise Apple Riders at 2 p.m. •Ryan Getz Band at 3 p.m. •Dirt Simple at 4 p.m. •Frank Sidney's Western Bandit Volunteers at 5 p.m.