PARKERSBURG - After a brief hiatus, the Saturday night concerts have returned to Dutch Ridge Auctions.
Fred Carpenter, owner of Dutch Ridge Auctions, said the music at the site resumed Jan. 5 and they plan to have at least three bands or performers each week, starting at 4 p.m. each Saturday.
"We might have three, maybe more, you never really know," he said. "We might have less."
Gale Ford performs at Saturday’s music program at Dutch Ridge Auctions. (Photo by Jeffrey Saulton)
Carpenter said there has been music at Dutch Ridge on Saturday nights for at least 40 years. Former owner Carl Clark ran Dutch Ridge Bluegrass on the site.
"He used to have a big festival out here, 200 campers out here," he said. "I took over a couple of years ago, basically in the fall and winter, but we decided to go to every Saturday."
Carpenter said the music program did not catch again on, so it was discontinued for a time. However, he decided to resume the music for 2013.
Carpenter said a number of bands are set to be at Dutch Ridge every week. He said some of the bands include the Mayberry Pickers, Straight Edge Bluegrass, Gene Stewart and Union Valley Bluegrass.
On Monday and Friday nights, Carpenter said he has a consignment auction at Dutch Ridge.
There is an admission charge for the Saturday music programs, with the money being split among the performers on a given night to help with their transportation costs.
"Gas is just outrageous," Carpenter said. "These guys come here and they put on a heck of a show and they do it for free. So what we plan to do now is charge $5 to get in and split that between the bands. That helps them a little bit."
Carpenter added he also records the performances to make a DVD. The crowd is usually small from the opening at 4 p.m. and picks up from there.
"We usually start with karaoke until 6 p.m. and then an intermission to allow the bands to set up," he said. "Sometimes we have open mic, so if someone wants to pick up a guitar and go pick and sing, they can."
Carpenter said he plans to have big events on Memorial Day and Labor Day.
"We usually open up everything," he said. "We have a big flea market, car show, food vendors - what ever we could pull in.
Carpenter said the weekly show is for one reason.
"We do it for the fun of it," he said. "If you like music you do it."
Other local bluegrass, country and gospel venues around the region include:
* Bluegrass/Gospel Music from noon-4 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month at Alligator Jack's Flea Market, Pomeroy Ohio. Call (740) 416-4650.
* Second Saturday Night of the Month Sing by the West Virginia Bluegrass Alliance from 6-10 p.m. the second Saturday of each month at Lions Club Building, behind the CCCOA Building in Grantsville, W.Va. Call 304-354-9396.
* Live Bluegrass Music from 6-9 p.m. on the second Friday of each month at the Lubeck Civic Center, off West Virginia 68 in Lubeck, south of Parkersburg.
* Country Music at 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Saturday of each month at Friendly Community Building, West Virginia 2 in Friendly. For information, call 304-337-9529.
* The Wirt County Bluegrass/Gospel Music Association presents bluegrass, country and gospel music on the first and third Saturdays of each month at 6 p.m. at Palestine School, on Enterprise Road off West Virginia 14 south of Elizabeth.
* Bluegrass, Country and Gospel Music at 7 p.m. each Friday at Al's Barn on Monday Road near Grantsville. Call 304-354-9101 or 304-275-6552.
* Bluegrass, Country and Gospel Music from 7-11 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month at Kanawha Community Building on West Virginia 47 east of Parkersburg. Call 304-485-1558.