"So much is new this year" at the Bluegrass at the Gateway Festival June 25-28 at Whitewater Valley Gateway Park, 19067 U.S. 52, Metamora, reports Candy Yurcak, president of the Whitewater Canal Byway Association, which owns the 33-acre park. She assisted husband Ron in planning the fourth annual long weekend of music.
"The Whitewater Canal Byway Association is proud to partner with the Wounded Warrior Project this year," she says. "We will honor those who have given so much to defend this great country we live in."
The couple decided to collaborate with the Wounded Warrior Project because "my husband has always been just such a fan of veterans and has so much respect for them. We have so many vets who come home in our area and they're just kind of forgotten and they're carrying these injuries that are life altering."
Also fresh is a kids' music camp offered two days beforehand.
The fest starts on Wednesday at 5 p.m. with a free potluck dinner (bring a covered dish and musical instrument). "Wednesday is one of my very favorites," according to Yurcak. "You eat and meet a lot of people and then people get the opportunity to sit on that big deck and jam with Kitty and Vernon McIntyre" of the band Appalachian Grass, plus the six young campers will perform what they learned. "That night's always fun. Good food and good fellowship."
Fest sponsors are the Franklin County Convention, Recreation and Visitors Commission; Brookville/Franklin County Chamber of Commerce; and several businesses.
Saturday will be patriotic from beginning to end. During the noon opening ceremony, Morgan Reese, Indianapolis – "she has an incredible voice" – will sing the national anthem and Tim Kieffer, Batesville, Indiana Patriot Guard Riders Southeast Region senior ride captain, will speak. More guest speakers throughout the day will range from state Rep. Jud McMillin to a National Guard representative.