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Belk, Ala., hosts bluegrass fest this weekend


Jan Swoope



Sometimes the best things come in small packages. Take the third annual Bluegrass Festival in the rural community of Belk, Ala., about a half-hour''s drive from Columbus. On Friday and Saturday, the small town of approximately 200 people expects to more than double its population as fans of the quick-paced, string-driven music gather at the Belk Community Park for a weekend of "music, food and fun in the park."  


From 1-10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, groups including Shadow Ridge, The Walker Street Opry, Betty Sampson and Dixie Bluegrass, the Jake Landers Band, Belk Bluegrass Band, Bama Blu-Grace and the Pickens Bluegrass Band will offer family-friendly entertainment. 


The festival will go on rain or shine, according to Ronald Waldrop, the mayor of Belk and a former teacher at Columbus High School. 


"And the food will be good, too. We say the catfish will be swimmin'' in the pond Friday and swimmin'' in the grease Saturday!" chuckled Wayne Gilreath, chairman of the Belk Bluegrass Board. 


RV hookups, rough camping and concessions will be available. Lawn chairs are encouraged; alcohol and drugs are prohibited.  


Admission is $8 per day or $16 for a two-day pass. Proceeds will go toward park improvements. Performance times and directions are available at For more information, contact Gilreath at 205-596-3251 or Waldrop at 205-932-8252.  





Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.



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