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Foscoe Ruritan to Host Inaugural Homegrown Music Festival Saturday at Grandfather Park

By Jessica Isaacs

Looking for a way to have fun and give back this weekend? You’re in luck! The Foscoe Ruritan club will host its first Homegrown Music Festival at Foscoe-Grandfather Community Park beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, and all proceeds raised will support the club’s ongoing service projects.


Foscoe Ruritan is a branch of the national organization, which has established more than 1,000 local-level goodwill service clubs across the country.

“Ruritan is grassroots,” Foscoe member Grant Powers said. “All we want to do is be in service to our local community.”

In the three short years since its inception, the club’s group of more than 20 active members has already done a lot to help its neighbors in need. Recently, the club has been able to donate more than $2,000 in scholarships to local students. Its members work to keep up area parks and it contributes funds annually to local schools.

When the colder months make their way to the High Country, the club will pick up some of its annual projects that include collecting firewood or contributing to fuel costs to help heat homes and providing Christmas dinners for families in need.

Foscoe Ruritan meets the third Tuesday of every month at the Grandfather community center. Members share responsibility for providing food on a rotating basis so they can enjoy a meal together as they plan for their upcoming projects. To ensure that every cent from their operating budget goes right back into the community, they cover the costs of their meetings out of their own pockets.

Powers said the members would love to see their own numbers growing, and that anyone interested in making a difference is invited to be a part of the club.


The club hopes the inaugural Homegrown Festival will be the first of many exciting ways it can draw in new members and garner support for its work.

“We have always had some kind of event every year as a major fundraiser, but we felt that what we have done in the past has kind of gotten stale,” Powers said. “So we thought about it and decided to have a festival that would showcase local musicians. We felt like that would be a great way to do a fundraiser.”

Powers ensures that every penny raised from ticket sales at the festival will directly support the club’s operating budget, which allows it to help families in the community one good deed at a time.

With sights set on bringing folks together for good music and a good cause, club members started working to organize the festival in February. Right away, Powers said they began to receive tremendous support from businesses and organizations in the area that have since elected to sponsor the event.

“Watauga County is such a giving area. Almost everybody that we approached has stepped up to the plate and helped us with this, to the point that we couldn’t fit any more on the poster,” Powers said with a laugh.

Club members sought out friends and neighbors who play with local groups and put together a lineup that encompasses several different genres for the first Homegrown Music Festival.

The Johnson Family band will open the festival at noon and will be followed by contemporary Christian performers Bethel Road at 1 p.m.

Bethel Road

The seven folks behind Bethel Road have been playing together for five years now, and they’re looking forward to sharing with you their unique sound, which also incorporates country and gospel influences.

“We’re really excited to play alongside and hear all the different local groups,” said Bethel Road vocalist Carter Dishman. “We’re proud to be part of a community that has such a great tradition of many different musical styles.”

Adam Church takes the stage at 2 p.m. followed by the Junaluska Gospel Choir, a favorite in the area that hails from the historic Boone Mennonite Brethren Church, at 3 p.m.

You’ll hear from the up-and-comers of Cane Mill Road, who recently returned from a tour in Argentina, at 4 p.m.

“I approached Cane Mill Road because they are so young and we really wanted to have them for the festival,” Powers said. “We knew they were planning to play in South America so we prepaid them so they could use that on their trip.”

Amantha Mill

Next up will be folk and bluegrass powerhouse Amantha Mill at 5 p.m. and longtime local favorites Blue Country at 6 p.m.


The festival will also feature a 15 vendors who will offer fried apple pies, kettle corn, funnel cakes, arts and crafts and more, and Big Mo’s BBQ will be serving up great eats all day.

Find something just for you at the silent auction, which will feature more than 50 items contributed by supporters in the area.

Purchase a $5 raffle ticket or get five for $20 for a chance to win prizes including a 55-inch Samsung Smart TV, a Big Green Egg smoker grill, a Branson, Missouri vacation package and more.

Blue Country

The fun begins at 11 a.m. when the gates to the park open on Saturday.

Get your ticket in advance from a club member at a discounted rate ($12 adults, $8 children 12 and under) or buy them at the gate ($15 adults, $10 children 12 and under). Children ages 5 and under are free with a ticketed adult.

Powers said he and other club members are excited to get the inaugural Homegrown Music Festival off the ground and they look forward to a big crowd this weekend.

“We want everybody to know this is something we do for the community,” he said. “Every bit of it, 100 percent of what we raise, will go back into the community.”

If you can’t make it to the festival, performances will be filmed and replayed later on the SkyBest community channel.

For more information about the festival or about Foscoe Ruritan, call 828-963-5038.