Reinhardt University is bringing the sound of the Appalachian mountains to Waleska with the Reinhardt Bluegrass Festival on June 19 and June 20.

The festival kicks off at 5 p.m. on June 19 and runs until 9:30 p.m. The festival will then continue on June 20 from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now.

Three artists will perform on Friday and five artists will perform on Saturday. The artists will each have 45 minute sets with the exception of the 7:30 p.m. shows, which will be 90 minutes each.

As added entertainment, there will be a corn hole tournament on both days and food trucks for visitors. Jam sessions will take place for event attendees to enjoy playing and listening to bluegrass together.

“A lot of people in the bluegrass genre enjoy jamming out together, so we’re giving people at the event the chance to relax and jam,” said Director of the Falany Performing Arts Center, Jessica Akers.

There will be an area where people will be allowed to receive autographs and talk with the artists and bands once they are done with their sets.

The stage play “Smoke on the Mountain” will be playing both nights at 7:30 p.m. at the Black Box Theatre, located at 7300 Reinhardt College Parkway.

The Funk Heritage Museum, located at 7300 Reinhardt Circle, will also be open on June 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on June 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A bluegrass contest will also take place on June 20 at 11 a.m. The contest is free to the public.

Musicians interested in entering the contest must be bluegrass musicians and will have to fill out an application and send in a video to prove that the band/artist is a bluegrass musician. The winner of the contest will receive $1,000 and a contract for another $1,000 to open Reinhardt’s next season of events. Second place will receive $500 and a $500 contract, while third place will receive $250 and a $250 contract. The contracts for both second and third place will allow the artists to play in-between sets during the festival.

The festival will take place entirely indoors with the exception of a number of food options.

“All events will be indoors because it will be in June and we don’t want to have to worry about the weather, mosquitos and the heat,” Akers said. “There will be food options and eating spaces both indoors and outdoors.”

Baker said that the intention is to limit the size of the festival for the first year. She hopes that the festival will grow in the years to come to include a farmers and artisans market and other activities for attendees to enjoy.

“There’s plenty of bluegrass festivals throughout the state, but we thought that this was a chance to capitalize on the rich history of the Appalachian culture around Waleska,” Akers said. “We figured why not put Waleska on the map for some festivals and help mold the city into a tourist destination.”

The festival schedule and tickets are available to view and purchase at https://ci.ovationtix.com/35154/production/1015447.

For more information regarding the Bluegrass Festival and contest applications, email Boxoffice@reinhardt.edu or call 770-720-9167.

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Ethan is a reporter covering the cities of Holly Springs & Canton. He also covers city governments and lifestyle. He is a graduate of Kennesaw State University.

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