Weekender

Grange fairgrounds hosting Remington Ryde’s seventh annual bluegrass festival

After reaching capacity at the Mifflin County Youth Fairgrounds at past events, the Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival will perform in a new location this weekend.

The seventh annual festival will be held at the Centre County Grange Fairgrounds in Centre Hall, a move festival organizer and Remington Ryde vocalist Ryan Frankhouser hopes will draw a larger audience.

“The festival has gotten so big that the park was completely filled, almost to the point where it was getting dangerous,” Frankhouser said. “I also pull in a lot of RV campers from all over the country so the hook ups and capabilities will be great for them.”

The festival will feature about 20 local and nationally known bluegrass bands, with Rhonda Vincent and the Rage headlining the July 13 lineup. Billed as “The Queen of Bluegrass,” Vincent tours internationally with her band and has appeared on recordings by Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson and others.

Frankhouser said many of the bands will be available for free workshops and music lessons throughout the festival, and jams will be held after the scheduled entertainment concludes each evening.

In addition to drawing national acts, Frankhouser said the festival serves as a homecoming for Remington Ryde the band. Based in McClure, the band includes Frankhouser on vocals and guitar, Billy Lee Cox on banjo, Rich Kratzer on mandolin and Richard Egolf on bass. They tour throughout the U.S. and Canada and always enjoy playing for the hometown crowd.

“As far as festivals go, the crowd at this one seems to be more responsive than others we’ve played. ... They love the music and love coming out to hear it,” Frankhouser said. “It’s just a really fun atmosphere and I hope people will check us out at the new location this year.”

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