PJ Martin The Herald-News – What is the most music filled, toe tapping time you can have for free? The Branstetter Park Music Festival and Homecoming of course. Another year has flown by and it is time for friends and families to gather at Branstetter Park in Summer Shade on August 25th and 26th.
This year is chocked full of entertainment beginning Saturday at 10 a.m. with Arthur Hatfield and Buck Creek, the Hornet’s Nest Pickers at 1:00 p.m., and Jared Shaw and Friends at 3:00 p.m. All musicians and singer are welcome to attend and bring their instruments for lots of impromptu shade tree picking. If you love music you will enjoy the Branstetter Park Music Festival.
The annual event is family friendly with lots of games to keep the kids busy. Beginning on Saturday at 1 p.m. are games for all ages such as the diaper derby, ball toss, stick horse race, sack races, sponge relay, 3-legged race, tricycle and bicycle races, minute to win it, biggest bubble contest, water balloon toss, tug of war, hula hoops, and a hidden shoe relay.
What would a festival be without good food? Concessions will be available with a variety of favorites including homemade desserts. If you would like to volunteer to help with concessions, please call Chairman Harold Stilts or his wife Patricia at 270-428-4061.
You never know what you might find in the traditional arts and crafts booths. Last year there were herbal remedies, wood working, handmade items, soaps, spinning, and metal work. “We like to have the traditional crafts like people did in the old days,” affirmed Stilts.
Whether you call it a Homecoming or Festival, the annual event attracts a large crowd of local residents, people from surrounding counties, and families returning for a visit. Many former residents from out of state come back every year for the reunion to visit with friends and to renew old acquaintances.
During the 92nd Homecoming on Sunday, August 26th, all area churches are invited to come together and have an all-day community church service beginning at 10 a.m. Departed family and friends are remembered in a memorial read by Terry Hurt, the devotion will be given by Dennis Crump, and the message will be delivered by Shane Dodson this year.
A potluck lunch will be held at noon, so bring a covered dish and enjoy some delicious food. The evening will be filled with singing by The Gospel Sounds and prizes will be awarded to the one who travels the farthest, the oldest person in attendance, and the couple married the longest and shortest periods of time.
The committee members work on the park upkeep all year long and recently trimmed trees near the tabernacle to make sure everyone is a safe as possible. Stilts points out that, “We are trying to keep the tradition alive at Branstetter Park, but we need more community support and involvement to keep it going. We would appreciate new committee members to help us work and keep things going at the park. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.”
The two day festival is free to everyone so bring a lawn chair and enjoy.
A group of musicians gathered under the trees at the 2017 Branstetter Park Festival drew quite a crowd.