Monday, January 13, 2014

Seminole Wind Bluegrass Festival

Drive west from the bustling regional agricultural center, retirement town, and county seat of Okeechobee County along state highway 70 as you enter a Florida not much featured on tourist brochures. It's the land of cattle ranches, sugar plantations, orange groves, and re-routed rivers flowing into the Everglades, the rich swamp area being destroyed by development in this state. Turn left down Reservation Road (county road 721), following the sign for the Seminole Casino in the Brighton Community of Seminole Indians, and remember that, for all intents and purposes, you're entering a different country. A place under the jurisdiction of this historic, hounded, and once nearly obliterated Indian group which has, by pluck, hard work, and the boon of burgeoning casino business made possible by their status developed and enriched their home. The Seminole Wind Bluegrass Festival will be held for the third year on January 31 & February 1, 2014. Darelene Bass has announced that there is a change at the Seminole Wind Bluegrass Festival.  The festival has been sponsored by the Seminole Tribe of Florida for the past two years.  However, the Tribe no longer wishes to sponsor the festival.  Therefore, she and Keith  have decided to keep this festival going.  They will be renting the facility and producing it themselves.

Inside the Rodeo Arena

 Because the rodeo arena and surrounding grounds represent such a wonderful site for presenting a mid-winter bluegrass festival, Darlene and Keith  have re-imagined this event, being held on the weekend after the YeeHaw Junction Bluegrass Festival as a musical and social get together held on the festival grounds. The site has been partially developed and has the potential for enormous growth. There are a limited number of full hookup RV sites as well as some additional water/electric sites available and practically unlimited space for dry camping. They envision the weekend as a wonderful opportunity to come to this unique setting, hand out with friends, jam and pick to your heart's content, and hear some fine local bands as well as The Roys, and emerging brother/sister duo back by a strong band.

The Roys
Elaine Roy

Lee Roy

 The festivities begin on Thursday afternoon with a pot-luck supper at for which the Bass's will provide the meat. Attendees will find the setting to be both spacious and welcoming. Formal music will begin at 2:00 PM on Friday and Saturday with three bands featured twice each day while providing plenty of time for pickers to enjoy each other and the setting. The lineup consists of:

Highway 41 South

Jr Davis

Robert Feathers

Keith Bass & the Florida Bluegrass Express

Clint Dockery

 Keith Bass

Penny Creek

Generations Bluegrass

LeRon Rogers

Katie Rogers

All the local/regional bands performing should be familiar to most. They're your friends and they can be counted on to provide a quality bluegrass experience for you as well as to join your jams and pick with you.  This informal and relaxed weekend needs your support as Keith and Darlene seek to re-imagine this event, using a superior site as the basis for continuing to develop traditional bluegrass ins south/central Florida.

Keith Bass

Darlene Bass

 Tickets for this event can be purchased online here, at YeeHaw Junction, if you're there the week before, or at the gate. For those who enjoy a bit of gambling with their bluegrass, the Seminole Casino Brighton  is less than a mile away from the festival grounds. It contains a full service restaurant open 24 hours a day. There is also a citrus grove on the reservation providing plenty of fresh citrus fruit for your pleasure or to send to friends and family at the height of the citrus season. The site is only half an hour from the shopping, restaurant, and fishing opportunities provided by the town of Okeechobee. For those interested in further exploring Seminole history and culture, the reservation has built the wonderful Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum on the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation, only 65 miles further south. A day spent there is more than worth your while.

How to Get to the Festival Grounds
The Brighton Seminole Reservation
Click below on More options the input your location at the O

This will be a good week of fellowship and music for bluegrass lovers, whether they be snow birds, retirees, of Florida natives. Come out and support this event and KD Bass Productions.