Downtown Franklin will resound in banjos, guitars and fiddles this weekend as buskers from all over the county converge for the 16th annual Bluegrass Along The Harpeth festival.
Set along Third Avenue South beside the courthouse, the free event features square dancing, buck dancing, clogging and some of the best bluegrass music around.
“This is a chance for people to remember the ‘old ways,” organizer of the event Tommy Jackson says. “We want to help keep old folklore music alive in Williamson County. When we have this festival each year, it preserves this way of life and brings the community together.”
The music is the common denominator that ties everyone together.
While many of the musicians who come downtown for the event enter the contests or play on the stage, some just pick on the street and everyone is welcome and encouraged to bring an instrument.
In the beginning, Bluegrass Along The Harpeth took place “next to the Harpeth River,” hence the name, but in recent years it was moved to the courthouse steps.
People that come in from out of town now can see the town while hearing good old-fashioned bluegrass. The courthouse is also the perfect backdrop.
“In the old days, all the bluegrass was always played in front of courthouses,” Jackson says.
The ultimate goal for Bluegrass Along The Harpeth is to become one of the biggest bluegrass events in the southeast.
The event begins Friday at 7 p.m. and runs until 11 p.m. Some of the local bands that will perform include the Williamson County Bluegrass Boys, Runaway Freight and the Pinewood Ramblers.
There will also be barbecue, funnel cakes and lemonade at several vending booths throughout the weekend.
Saturday’s event begins at 10 a.m. with competitions in mandolin, flat-top guitar, dulcimer, banjo, junior fiddle, old-time banjo, old-time string band, old-time singing, bluegrass bands, senior fiddle, junior freestyle clogging, adult flatfoot buck-dancing and beginner musicians for those 14 and under. Each competition is judged and prizes are given at then end, which will go on as late as 11:30 p.m.
Craft booth space is still available.
For more information on Bluegrass On The Harpeth call 790-8616.