HALDEMAN Bluegrass music drifted down Poppy Mountain in east Rowan County once again. 

The Poppy Mountain Music Festival hosted its 29th annual event with more than 40 bands from mixes of traditional bluegrass, country and even rock and roll for over 10,000 festival goers. 

“I was here at the very first Poppy Mountain, and I’ve been here 25 out of the 29,” said Tina Turner, an Ironton native. “I love bluegrass, and it’s like a family here. We have people that we meet here every year and even though we’re from different parts of everywhere, we know each other.”

The festival included local musicians and headlining artists such as John Anderson in the lineup this year. 

“I love Poppy Mountain,” said Anderson, who has performed there for eight years. “It’s always a real pleasure to be here and a privilege to play. Poppy Mountain has had some of the greatest entertainers through the years.”

Marty Stevens and his family began the event in 1992 after he invested $5 million to create what is now known as an international, multi-generational tradition. He and his brother dedicated its namesake to an elderly man who lived in its Appalachian hills when they were kids. 

“It’s been a struggle all the way through, but I wouldn’t do anything different,” said Stevens. “I’ve got people that have come here that said they were conceived on this hill 30 years ago. It’s been a fun thing. We’ve had probably 100 people get married here, and it’s something I wouldn’t want to do without in my life.”

Fans have come as far as Japan and Germany to the love for the music and the environment the event is known for.

“This is our first time here,” said Dolly Cooper, who celebrated her 35th wedding anniversary with her husband, Robert, at this year’s festival. “It’s absolutely great.”

Several vendors returned with renewed excitement to make visitors feel welcomed as the pandemic brought a halt to many other festivals this past year. 

“We’re doing quite well. People seem to be really happy with the design and with all the stuff we sell,” said Russell Clen, who has sold T-shirts at the festival for 26 years. “Up until June of this year there were virtually no festivals because of the COVID. We didn’t work at all last year except for here.”

Stevens said preparations have started for next year’s 30th anniversary.

“The process is like growing a tobacco crop,” he said. “As soon as it’s over and this festival is over, I start cleaning, sweeping, mowing grass, cleaning up garbage and getting ready to put our seeds out for the next year.”

 

 

The Trail Blazer

MOREHEAD  Bluegrass roots music returned to Rowan County with the sounds of music and culture. 

The Poppy Mountain Music Festival hosted its 29th annual festival with over 40 bands from mixes of traditional bluegrass, country and even rock and roll for over 10,000 festivalgoers last week. 

“I was here at the very first Poppy Mountain, and I’ve been here 25 out of the 29,” said Tina Turner, an Ironton, Ohio native. “I love bluegrass, and it’s like a family here. We have people that we meet here every year and even though we’re from different parts of everywhere, we know each other.”

The festival included local musicians and headlining artists such as John Anderson the line-up this year. 

“I love Poppy Mountain,” said Anderson, who has performed there for eight years. “It’s always a real pleasure to be here and a privilege to play. Poppy Mountain has had some of the greatest entertainers through the years.”

Marty Stevens and his family began the event in 1992 after he invested $5 million dollars to create what is now known as an international, multi-generational tradition. He and his brother dedicated its namesake to an elder man who lived in its Appalachian hills when they were kids. 

“It’s been a struggle all the way through, but I wouldn’t do anything different,” said Stevens. “I’ve got people that have come here that said they were conceived on this hill 30 years ago. It’s been a fun thing. We’ve had probably 100 people get married here, and it’s something I wouldn’t want to do without in my life.”

Fans have come as far as Japan and Germany for the love of the music and the environment the event is known for.

“This is our first time here,” said Dolly Cooper, who celebrated her 35th wedding anniversary with her husband Robert at this year’s festival. “It’s absolutely great.”

Several vendors returned with renewed excitement to make visitors feel welcomed as the pandemic brought a halt to many other festivals this past year. 

“We’re doing quite well. People seem to be really happy with the design and with all the stuff we sell,” said Russell Clen, who has sold t-shirts at the festival for 26 years. “Up until June of this year there were virtually no festivals because of the COVID. We didn’t work at all last year except for here.”

Stevens said preparations have started for next year’s 30th anniversary. s 

“The process is like growing a tobacco crop,” he said. “As soon as its over and this festival is over, I start cleaning, sweeping, mowing grass, cleaning up garbage and getting ready to put our seeds out for the next year.”

 

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