New Congaree Bluegrass Festival – Fun for the Whole Family

September 27, 2008

CAYCE, SC – September 26, 2008 – Cayce leaders hope to entice Midlands’ residents and bluegrass fans from around the area to attend its newest family-oriented event, the Congaree Bluegrass Festival. Presented by the City of Cayce and CMC Steel South Carolina, the daylong festival will bring some of the state’s top bluegrass performers to the Midlands on Saturday, October 4 at Granby Gardens Park, located in the City Hall Complex at 1800 12th Street.

Inspired by the legendary Bill Wells and founded in 2006 by Danny Creamer and Tim Krell, the Sugarloaf Mountain Boys will open the concert around 11:15 am, followed by Columbia’s own Cold Stream Crossing at 12:45 pm. Then at 3:00 pm, the Sugarloaf Mountain Boys will return to the stage for more bluegrass fun.

At 4:15 pm, Last Road Bluegrass of Easley, SC will take center stage with four energetic, talented musicians and vocalists who feature a wide selection of traditional, contemporary and Gospel bluegrass music. They combine the influences of first generation performers like Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and the Osborne Brothers and more recent acts such as Blue Highway, and Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.

The Bluegrass TarHeels brings some of its original performers back with some new musicians to perform at 5:15 pm. And then 30-year veteran performers, Bill Wells and the Blue Ridge Mountain Grass, will provide the final concert of the evening, beginning at 6:15 pm. The Columbia-based band was the winner of the 1978 National Bluegrass Band Championship and in 1984, Bill Wells was nominated for Male Vocalist Of The Year.

The festival will also feature a banjo contest beginning at 11:30 am, a guitar contest at 1:45 pm, with prizes awarded to winners in each category, and a band scramble contest starting at 3:30 pm. 

Pat Ahrens, a freelance writer and the author of Union Grove: The First Fifty Years and other bluegrass publications will be in attendance.  A rhythm guitarist, she is past president of the South Carolina Bluegrass and Traditional Music Association and has served on its board of directors for more than a decade. In 1996, she received the South Carolina Heritage Award.

Festival goers can also tour the Cayce Historical Museum and there will be a children’s play area that includes panning for gold, a bounce house, and a haystack search. Admission to the festival and museum are free of charge.

Food vendors will provide a wide array of tasty treats, including hot dogs, French fries, corn dogs, snow cones, homemade fudge, boiled peanuts and funnel cakes to name a few.  Citizens and visitors are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs or blankets, but coolers are not allowed.

For accommodations information in Cayce, contact the West Metro Chamber and Visitors Center at 803-794-6504 for details, or visit