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Sourwood Mountain Band
Preddy Fest poem
By Donna Campbell Smith
They start coming a week ahead,
Set up their family compounds
With tents, campers, canopies
and outdoor kitchens.
It’s a festival of Bluegrass music.
It’s a gathering,
It’s a happening,
A countrified Woodstock of sorts.
Camp pickings and singings
Waft into the nighttime summer air.
Songs about Jesus, moonshine, mama,
And “better times a coming.”
Fiddling and bass playing.
Sometimes a song dwindles off
And a singer admits, “I forgot the rest of the words”
But the playing goes on.
Beer flows like the mighty brown water of the Tar River
On whose banks the blue jean clad fans have gathered,
It is the elixir for shy players,
The hot summer sun wiggles through the shade trees;
Folks with bag chairs sit below the stage
Listening to the music,
Feet tapping to the tunes,
Wiping sweat from their brows,
Eating ice cream and crazy curly fries.
Those still cooling off with cold beer
Are roped off to the side
Any other time folks would seek the comfort
Of air conditioning,
and toilets that flush.
But not during Franklin County’s
Preddy Fest Week.
The last song is played on stage,
but the music goes on till daylight.
The hardest part of Preddy Fest is leaving.
What is a Preddy Fest?
Preddy Fest is a three day bluegrass music festival held in Franklinton, NC every summer on the banks of the mighty Tar River. It features top bluegrass bands from across the country. Folks come in a week ahead to camp on the beautiful Preddy Farm in anticipation of the concerts, visiting old friends and family, cooking and eating, picking and grinning all week long. For the fans and the curious learn more about this event at Preddy Fest.