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The 25th annual Stringbean Bluegrass Festival takes place in Jackson County

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 6 p.m. on Saturday
Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 6:46 PM EDT
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WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 11 p.m. on Saturday

TYNER, Ky. (WYMT) - For 25 years, the Stringbean Bluegrass Festival in Tyner has been showcasing local and out-of-state bluegrass performers.

“It’s just something that’s really good for this community and you know, to kind of come together around this music and everything and just to be a part of that and its just really special and really important,” said Derrick Shepherd, one of the performers at the festival.

The festival was created by Phillip Akemon in memory of his uncle, David “Stringbean” Akemon, a banjo picker who made a name for himself in the bluegrass music world on the show Hee Haw.

“All my family play and it’s been a part of our heritage, you know, and a lot of people in Eastern Kentucky here,” said Akemon.

Akemon said, through this festival, he hopes bluegrass music can live on through the younger generations.

“You see those young people playing on the stage, it’s not going to die,” he said. “It’s kindly in their system, it’s in their blood.”

Akemon added he hopes the memory of his uncle Stringbean can remind other bluegrass artists who hit the festival stage that anything is possible.

“For young people, anybody that wants to pursue what their dream is, whether it’s music or something else, if they’ll stay with it, they can accomplish it,” said Akemon. “If a feller out of this area can do that, you can from anywhere.”

The festival kicked off Thursday and concluded on Saturday.

Akemon said the event brought in performers from California, Texas and Arkansas, as well as several local performers from right here in the mountains.

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