Vermillion invited to help â�?�?saveâ�?�? Americaâ�?�?s rural musical art forms Itâ�?�?s been called the â�?�?last of itâ�?�?s kind,â�? and many of the supporters of old-time music call it â�?�?the redeeming celebration of Americaâ�?�?s farmlands.â�? Some have even gone so far as to say â�?�?this celebration of Americaâ�?�?s rural music, is a historical statement of the very core of Americaâ�?�?s upbringing. Itâ�?�?s what we were and what we are. Itâ�?�?s even where we hope to be in the future.â�? The upcoming seven-day festival in Le Mars, IA, is a reflection of the rural music that lies somewhere between New York City and Los Angeles, and area that most â�?�?urbanâ�? citizens fly over and instantly forget. The sustaining music that major television companies and major record labels have forgotten and choose not to remember. But to those of the agricultural community who remember their roots, and where they came from, itâ�?�?s still the â�?�?â�?�?remembranceâ�? of things past, the past that certainly held better connotations and better memories than those most people are experiencing today. â�?�?Rememberingâ�? is something the citizens of Vermillion are well known for. Keeping alive the memories of a time gone by and relaxing for a short time to listen to it all come alive is an endeavor not lost on the rural folks of Vermillion and the surrounding area either. All these folks have been invited to bring lawn chairs and set out for the Plymouth County Fairgrounds for a full week before Labor Day (Aug. 25-31) to celebrate Americaâ�?�?s roots music. â�?�?We used to drive teams of horses and Model-A cars, today we stream along in fast moving automobiles and RVs that drink longer and more at the gas-pump than in the past.â�? Thatâ�?�?s why the entire week is set aside for Americaâ�?�?s most beautiful repast of rural musical expression ever staged in her heartland. Over 600 performers of old-time music come from around the world to share their talent, their commitment and their strong desire to keep this part of Americaâ�?�?s music alive and well. It takes 10 sound stages to accommodate those many performers for seven days. Thereâ�?�?s even one outdoor stage called the â�?�?Church without Wallsâ�? to make certain the Gospel music of those who believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ is not forsaken. Nine other stages cover everything from old-time country, bluegrass, folk, ragtime, mountain music, traditional, classic country and just about everything in between. There are more than 35 performers coming from the country of New Zealand alone. There are also singers and pickers coming from Canada, England, Australia, Ireland, Holland and some dancers from Greece are even scheduled. There are also regular American old-time hoe-down dances too. Just like in the days gone by. Square dancing, polka dancing, cowboy dancing. Six nights of the most fun most rural folks have ever had. And the memories…oh yes lots of memories. Memories to take home for another year. Memories that bring alive the lifestyle of America in her youth, her farm folks and rural upbringing. The promoters of this event, Iowanâ�?�?s Bob and Sheila Everhart, have been hard at work â�?�?savingâ�? Americaâ�?�?s rural music for 33 years now. They are performing artists themselves, recording for the prestigious Smithsonian Institute. Their strongest desire is to â�?�?gather together folks of common interest, to not only celebrate and listen to Americaâ�?�?s incredibly beautiful rural music, but to actually share in it. This is a musical art form that allows people to learn it and play it. We even have workshops for beginners who find this relaxing, beautiful, easy and most of all sharing.â�? Bob Everhart host â�?�? produced one of the most popular television shows ever created in Iowa for PBS. Old Time Country Music is currently in itâ�?�?s third re-run nationally, and Everhart is still strongly supportive of any effort that not only keeps the music alive, but helps make it profitable for all. According to Sheila Everhart, who co-directs the event, â�?�?we even have contests to help those who want to know what level they stand on among their peers. Over $4,000 in prizes, awards and cash money is given to the winning participants. The Godfatherâ�?�?s Pizza Parlor in Le Mars is even giving five large pizzas to the winners of the Band Scramble. Youâ�?�?ll also find a lot of our musicians playing for their supper at various restaurants in Le Mars â�?�? Lalleyâ�?�?s, J & J, Archies and others. Weâ�?�?re also doing a fund raiser at the museum auditorium on Aug. 23 (just two days before the festival starts) to help raise money for the many people that were so severely damaged in the recent flooding in Iowa. Thatâ�?�?s why itâ�?�?s so great to live in a state like Iowa. We know the people. We know they are caring and sympathetic to the needs of others. We also know they like their music to be honest, authentic, true to the heart and played well.â�? According to Bob Everhart, â�?�?Itâ�?�?s not just the music that we have at the fairgrounds in Le Mars either, that is so much fun. We have a complete Native American lifestyle tepee village. Authentic costumes, trade goods and of course, music.â�?
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