What better way to celebrate summer than with a free concert?
For the past several years, Pricketts Fort has planned up to five free concerts each summer that are enjoyed by the local community.
And two concerts in August are guaranteed to bring out a crowd.
Grkmania will take the stage Friday, Aug. 10, followed by local music talent the Ginsangers on Friday, Aug. 24, for the park’s final summer show. Vendors may be available for these concerts. Funding has been provided by the Marion County Commission, the Town of White Hall and the City of Pleasant Valley.
“Every concert we thank them, and we try to thank them all the time,” said Greg Bray, executive director of the Pricketts Fort Memorial Foundation. “The Pricketts Fort Memorial Foundation appreciates this ongoing support of the performing arts and the promotion of tourism events in our community.”
Up to 400 people typically pack into the park’s renovated and fully equipped outdoor amphitheater. Interest has sparked so much that music artists and bands are sometimes put on a waiting list for up to three years.
“We just can’t fit them all in,” Bray said.
For the Ginsangers, it’s their first time performing at Pricketts Fort. Based in Elkins, the band has made West Virginia its home. Winning songwriters Connie Townsend and Dave Parker belt out a mix of original and cover songs that range from jazz and blues to swing and country, with Jeff Broschart on drums, Roy Turner on bass and Seth Maynard on guitar.
While performing at MerleFest, on Mountain Stage and on Public Radio, the band has received recognition throughout the country for both their music and song writing. Their most notable honors include being named winner of the 2003 MerleFest Chris Austin Songwriter Contest, the XM Radio Featured Artist in September 2007, and the 2003 Mountain Stage New Song Festival Top 10.
Grkmania is no stranger to Pricketts Fort. Coming from Pittsburgh, the polka band is known for its special blend of Slovenian/Cleveland-style polkas and waltzes and has impressed audiences at Pricketts Fort for the past several years. Each year the band performs the 1970s version of the Steelers’ songs.
Many people from the Shinnston area make it a point to come to the show.
“There’s a lot of Slovenians in the area,” Bray said. “A lot of them came over to work in the mines at the turn of the century. That is what kind of polka that is — Slovenian. We get a big crowd here.”
Three generations of the Grkman family are included in the six-member band: grandfather Joe Sr., brothers Joe Jr. and Steve, and grandson Mike. A 1997 and 1998 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship recipient, Joe Jr. has been inducted into the American Slovenian Polka Foundation Hall of Fame. And Joe Sr. plays the button accordion without keys. Playing without keys and having buttons only on both finger panels earned him the title of “Button Box King.”
As a whole, the band was chosen to represent Pennsylvania folk arts by being featured in a “Grkmania” concert in 1997 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Grkmania has also composed and recorded on Grammy-nominated albums.
To end the year on this note, especially with the two bands, is something Bray said will attract just as large of a crowd in August.
“People like to get out in good weather, and some of them come to every show,” Bray said. “Some don’t. But it’s an inexpensive way for families to do something. We get a lot of families. Sometimes they set out a blanket or sit on the grass or bring their own chairs. They really enjoy it when they’re there.”
For more information about the events, visit www.pricketts fort.org or call 304-363-3030.
Email Nicole Lemal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What better way to celebrate summer than with a free concert?
Christmas in Our Town holiday tradition
On Saturday, Barrackville residents will celebrate the 11th annual Christmas in Our Town event.
DeEtta Hayes, chairman of the Christmas in Our Town committee, said that several people within the community have worked hard to organize the event, which has become a tradition for many.
Oldies Dance, ‘Taste’ to benefit United Way
Hit the dance floor for an evening of music and giving at the United Way of Marion County fifth annual Oldies Dance and Taste of Marion County on Friday, Dec. 6, at Fairmont Elks Lodge No. 294.
Holiday Historic Homes Tour on Nov. 30 features nine sites
Structures that tell the story of Fairmont’s rich history will be on display from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30 during the annual Holiday Historic Homes Tour.
This is the 20th year for the tour, which was named the 2012 Event of the Year by the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Marion County.
‘Rocket Boys the Musical’ set at FSU
The Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts is bringing the story of West Virginia native Homer Hickam to life through its musical performance of “Rocket Boys.”
Director Troy Snyder said this is the first time “Rocket Boys the Musical” will be performed by a college or university.
‘Freedom Tower’ premiere tonight
The curtains will open at 8 p.m. today at the Monongalia Arts Center in Morgantown for the world premiere of Sam Graber’s “Freedom Tower,” a play that focuses on the effects that the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks continue to have on our country more than 12 years later.
Debut concert Sunday at folklife center
The Monongahela Chamber Winds ensemble will have its debut concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on the campus of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College.
Harvest festival, antique fair this weekend at Pricketts Fort
It’s the time of year for the Pricketts Fort Memorial Foundation to host the annual harvest festival and antique fair.
‘Simpsons’ creator finds funny in cancer fight
Since word got out about Sam Simon’s cancer, this co-creator of “The Simpsons” and fervent philanthropist has heard from many people online asking to help rid him of his sizable wealth.
DreamMore Resort coming to Dollywood
To see the future of Dollywood, you need to borrow the vision of its chief imaginer, Dolly Parton.
Bands big part of Monongahfest
For the second year in a row, the band Jenna Won’t Sing will be performing on the main stage at the Monongahfest Saturday.
The band is made up of Jim Pulice, Eric Pulice, Ron Yanero and Greg Patrick.
- More Ticket Headlines
- Christmas in Our Town holiday tradition