Covered Bridge Bluegrass Festival offers weekend of Americana and music
By Sarah Allen
For the past decade, North Lewisburg in Union County has celebrated music, Americana and family fun with its annual Covered Bridge Bluegrass Festival.
In previous years, festivalgoers have described the event as wholesome and nostalgic, said Tina Knotts, tourism and marketing director at the Union County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
But, above all, the festival is a place for families. Knotts said it is not uncommon to see multiple generations enjoying the weekend together.
Since the festival first began, Knotts said, it has grown immensely.
It all started with the area being a part of the Big Darby Plains Scenic Byway. The plan was to have different cultural events connected with the byway, and from there, the festival “spun out of that.”
Five years ago, the event was moved to the Pottersburg Bridge and became the three-day festival that it is today.
The event kicks off with a dinner on the bridge Friday.
“It’s very quiet and serene,” Knotts said of the dinner. “It just has a really neat feel.”
Reservations are required for the dinner. Knotts said that tickets “go pretty quick.”
Ongoing activities throughout the weekend are many and varied. These include Coffee and Canvas classes (registration required), horsedrawn wagon rides, farm animals, food trucks and tours of the local bridges.
There are several tours throughout the day, Knotts said, all of which are given by a guide in an air-conditioned bus. The area has a total of eight bridges, seven covered and one steel truss.
The festival will also include marketplace vendors, featuring artisans, as well as antique and vintage dealers. A kid zone will have activities such as face painting and pumpkin crafts.
Knotts added that there will also be a performer on stilts who entertains the kids.
She summarized the numerous ongoing activities, saying, “It’s a lot of old-fashioned fun.”
In addition, there are also special events planned for both Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday begins with a 5K run/walk, as well as a pancake breakfast served on the bridge. Around that time is when the bluegrass music begins, Knotts said, “so, you can listen to bluegrass and eat your pancakes.”
Nine bluegrass bands will perform throughout the weekend, according to the festival’s website.
Another highlight Saturday is a picnic on the Pottersburg Bridge. Reservations are also required for this meal, during which each family will receive a picnic basket lunch.
Knotts said Saturday ends with music from the band Sugar Creek Bluegrass, which has performed at the festival in the past, and that its concert is a great crowd pleaser.
Sunday will begin with a non-denominational worship service. Also that day, vintage baseball will be played by the Ohio Muffins from the Ohio Historical Connection.
Knotts said while there is admission for some of the events, many of the ongoing activities are free of charge.
“It’s pretty inexpensive entertainment for the family,” she said.
Date with a bridge
The bridge dinner is Sept. 22. The rest of the festival is set for the following two days, Sept. 23 and 24.
The Pottersburg Bridge is located at 17141 Inskeep-Cratty Road, North Lewisburg.
For more information, visit www.coveredbridgefestival.com or search “Covered Bridge Bluegrass Festival, Marysville Ohio” on Facebook.