23rd Prairie Lake Pickin' Party set for this week


The sound of acoustic guitars, upright basses, banjos, mandolins and “fiddles” has begun to perme­ate the air at Holton’s Prairie Lake — and that means it’s once again time for the annual Prairie Lake Pickin’ Party.

This year’s annual festival — the 23rd such event to be held at the Prairie Lake grounds — will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday and will feature such familiar Pickin’ Party mainstays as the Leg­acy Bluegrass Band, the Ready Brothers, Pastense and the Boiler Room Boys. The popular festival features old-time country, bluegrass and gospel music — all acoustic.

The Kansas Prairie Pickers Asso­ciation started the festival more than two decades ago with only a few dozen musicians getting to­gether at the lake to play. The Pickin’ Party has become KPPA’s flagship event, and KPPA mem­bers, many of whom bring their trailers to Prairie Lake well in ad­vance of the event, hold their an­nual meeting on the Saturday morning of every festival.

The line-up for this year’s Pickin’ Party begins at 5 p.m. Thursday with longtime Party fa­vorites the Bonjour Brothers, fol­lowed at 6 p.m. by Thorpe and McElroy, the Wood Valley Pickers at 7 p.m., the Jackson County Pick­ers at 8 p.m. and the Boiler Room Boys at 9 p.m.

On Friday, the Hootin’ Annies kick things off with a 5 p.m. set, followed by Mule Shoe at 6 p.m., Legacy Bluegrass Band at 7 p.m., Jed Zeplin at 8 p.m. and the Ready Brothers at 9 p.m.

Saturday’s activities begin at 10 a.m. with the annual KPPA open membership meeting, where gen­eral club business is conducted and all KPPA members are invited to take part. The annual “band scram­ble” following the meeting allows members of participating bands to form impromptu groups and play together from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Halbleib Family will lead off Saturday evening’s entertain­ment with a 5 p.m. set. They’ll be followed by Prospect Bluegrass at 6 p.m., the Durst Family Band at 7 p.m. and Pastense at 8 p.m., with the 89th Street Bluegrass Band closing the festival with a 9 p.m. set.

As always, “pickers and listen­ers” are welcome to attend, and admission is free, but free-will do­nations to the KPPA are appreci­ated. Campers will be charged regular Prairie Lake campground rates, and spaces with electric hook-ups are limited.

Concessions will once again be provided by the Holton Lions Club from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Alcoholic bever­ages are not permitted at the lake grounds, and pets are not allowed in the viewing area.

KPPA will have a merchandise table where some groups may have recordings for sale and members will take donations for two draw­ings to be held at this year’s festi­val. Dick and Bobbie Durow of Dick Durow Music and Rick Rob­erts of Kansas Guitar Shop have donated a guitar and case for one drawing, and Bill and Pearl Tolle have donated a handmade quilt for the other drawing, it was reported.

Prairie Lake is located one mile north of Holton on U.S. Highway 75, then 3 1/2 miles east on 246th Road. For more information on the Pickin’ Party and the Kansas Prai­rie Pickers Association, call Dave Thorpe at (785) 478-1728 or Ron Meier at (785) 887-6314.

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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