One of Neosho's newest and most popular festivals returns Saturday in Big Spring Park as the 5th annual Bluegrass and Barbecue event gets under way at 10 a.m. It's a day-long festival with the last band taking the stage at 7 p.m. and everything wrapping up by 8 p.m. It will be held rain or shine.

One of Neosho's newest and most popular festivals returns Saturday in Big Spring Park as the 5th annual Bluegrass and Barbecue event gets under way at 10 a.m. It's a day-long festival with the last band taking the stage at 7 p.m. and everything wrapping up by 8 p.m. It will be held rain or shine.

Twelve bands are scheduled to perform this year on a single stage.

"It's the most variety we've ever had," City of Neosho Public Relations and Events Coordinator Paul Richardson said. "Some of the bands this year have been here before, but we do try to change it up some. Next year, we'll probably get some new ones. We try to balance it out for a mix. Some play traditional bluegrass and some are more progressive. It's a wide variety of performers and presentation."

Ten food vendors will be on hand, lined up outside Big Spring Park. Spring Street and Big Spring Hill will closed off to through traffic for the day. Although barbecue will be featured at many of the vendors, there will be a mix of other popular offerings to meet every taste.

A few sprinkles of rain last year failed to dampen the spirits of those who attended and right now, it's anyone's guess what the weather will do on Saturday.

Festival goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets, even pop-up tents. Pets are welcome as long as they're leashed and are well behaved, Richardson said. Attendees are also welcome to bring their own picnic lunches as long as trash is disposed of properly and there will be plenty of trash containers available.

The Big Spring Park restrooms will be open along with some porta-potties on site as well.

Shuttle service. utilizing city vans, will be available to those who attend. Richardson stated that there will be shuttle flags prominent and visitors are welcome to park, then catch a shuttle which will drop them at the festival entrance near St. John's Church near Big Spring Park.

"I think we'll see a substantial increase (in attendance) this year," Richardson said who has been promoting the event.

Future plans may include an additional stage or extending the festival to last two days with a Sunday afternoon gospel bluegrass time.

Bluegrass and Barbecue, like all the City of Neosho sponsored events which include the annual Fall Festival, Celebrate Neosho, and the February Bluegrass Showcase, has seen a boost according to Richardson due to a new sponsorship program. Anyone, citizen or business, can make a donation of any size to help grow and promote the festivals.

"Thank you to all the 2018 event sponsors," Richardson said. "We're still accepting donations. Sponsors will be announced in the program."

 

Schedule

10 a.m. Greenland Station

10:45 a.m. Borderline Bluegrass

11:45 a.m. Ripplin' Creek

12:30 p.m. Roving Gamblers

1:30 p.m. Vogts Sisters

2 p.m. The Flyin' Buzzards

2:45 p.m. The Grass Pickers

3:30 p.m. White River Junction

4:15 p.m. Finley River Boys

5:15 p.m. Brightwater Junction

6 p.m. That Dalton Gang

7 p.m. Southern Tradition