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Friday, May 19, 2017

Early Bird Passes Available for The 15th Annual Hickory Fest


photo by Frank Serio
Verlon Thompson performs on stage with Sue Cunningham in Florida in 2010. The man whose face is in the stage backdrop (shown on the right) is the late Vassar Clements, Cunningham's friend and violin mentor. He passed away in 2005. 

The 15th Annual Hickory Fest will feature music, crafts and food in the canyon Friday through Sunday, Aug. 18-20 at the 90-acre Stony Fork Creek Campground in Delmar Township, six miles south of Wellsboro. There will also be teaching workshops and a kids’ tent with creative things to do.

This fun-filled weekend of acoustic and roots music will benefit the American Cancer Society through the Relay For Life Of Tioga County and the Sue Cunningham Music Scholarship at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts. The scholarship sends a young violinist to a summer music camp and brings the student to Wellsboro to perform on the Hickory Fest stage. Last year’s festival raised $9,569 for the American Cancer Society.

Performing 30 hours of music from the outdoor stage at Stony Fork will be 20 world-class bluegrass and acoustic bands and soloists. Headlining the festival will be bluegrass icon Peter Rowan along with his brothers Chris and Lorin who are traveling from California for this rare "east coast" reunion and the progressive bluegrass band The Travelin' McCourys featuring Ronnie and Rob, sons of the legendary Del McCoury.

An added attraction at this year's festival will be the first Sue Cunningham Youth Fiddle Contest on Sunday, Aug. 20. Cunningham, who lived in Wellsboro and Florida, was always very supportive of young musicians wherever she went, teaching and encouraging them to keep playing, and helping them to develop self-confidence to become the best they could be. In that spirit, the contest is an extension of her efforts to give young fiddle players an opportunity to perform on stage in front of a live audience.

A nationally known violinist, Cunningham produced Hickory Fest for 13 years until her untimely passing in 2015. For the second year in a row, her partner Frank Serio, along with friends and family are continuing the festival in honor of her legacy.

For tickets visit www.hickoryfest.com or call the Deane Center for the Performing Arts at 570-724-6220. An Early Bird weekend pass for the three-day festival is $65 now through May 31. The cost at the gate is $85. Individual day passes can also be purchased online. The Friday pass is $25, Saturday, $45 and Sunday, $25.

Camping is not included in the ticket price. For more information about camping facilities at Stony Fork Creek Campground or to make reservations, visit the Hickory Fest website at www.hickoryfest.com or call the campground at 570-724-3096.

For information about other accommodations, call the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce at 570-724-1926 or email info@wellsboropa.com.

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