Prairie Lake Pickin' Party to return in June
After taking two years off due to COVID-19 concerns, the Prairie Lake Pickin’ Party will return for three days of old-time country, bluegrass and gospel music this June — and Ron Meier’s ready to see the annual festival make a grand return.
“We’re really happy to be back,” Meier said of the 27th-annual Pickin’ Party, the flagship event of the Kansas Prairie Pickers Association (KPPA), which will take over the Prairie Lake groups Thursday through Saturday, June 9-11.
Final details of the festival have yet to be worked out, including the schedule of bands who will take the Prairie Lake stage, Meier said, but some of the festival’s longtime favorites will be there, including the Bonjour Brothers, Pastense and the Ready Brothers, the latter of which features Meier. He and Pickin’ Party mainstay Ben Streeter will also return to serve as the festival’s masters of ceremonies.
The Pickin’ Party started in the 1990s as “just a jam session out at the lake,” said Meier, adding that “nobody could quite remember when the first one was.” The last Pickin’ Party — the 26th event — was held in 2019, but was canceled for 2020 at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic and called off again in 2021, even though Meier said some of the musicians “just went camping” at the lake and played music.
This year, he said, “we’ve got it set up and ready to go for everyone,” with a full slate of activities and a new event — the first-annual Alice Anderson Memorial Pie Contest, named for a longtime KPPA treasurer who died in early 2020.
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