Ft Christmas Bluegrass Festival

Ft Christmas

Since 1837, a wooden fort has stood in Christmas Florida. Created as a supply depot for the US Military in its “Seminole War” it now stands as a historical site for which the town was named after. For many years now, this site has hosted a Bluegrass festival and this year’s Ft Christmas Bluegrass Festival was the very best in years. With the day having picture perfect weather, family came out in droves to hear the Bluegrass music and spend time with loved ones. The playground was full of children, the adjacent field full of cards and the crowd was full from the stage to the road.

The Canada Brothers were the first band to take the stage sporting many decades of Bluegrass experience playing with some of the legends of Bluegrass. Clarence, Lester and Marie make up the family portion of the band filling out the lineup was Colton McCormick and Justin Mason. The band played Bluegrass classic and were dressed “to the nines” giving the feel of an old school Bluegrass show.

Taking the stage next was the Freightliners, and they kept the crowd into the music playing Bluegrass hits ranging from Flatt & Scruggs to the Steel Drivers. Doug Buchheister, Bill Miller, Michael McKee, Byron Holton, and Teresa Holton make up the band. Each member can be found most Friday nights at the Ocoee jam, but on stage they took it up another level. The vocals mix so well and the fun they have on stage is palpable. Mixed into the hit songs were a few originals that were so bluegrass you would have sworn they were written by Bill Monore himself.

Third in line was Rekindled Grass. CJ McClellan leads the band, and got some of his closest friends to fill in at the show. Even though CJ admitted certain band members has only heard some of the songs once, you would have never known they were not a seasoned touring band together for years. The vocals were so tight that some people were leaving food lines to come and see who was singing. I have had the good fortune to see some of the band members in other acts and once I saw them warm up knew it was going to be good.

The final band of the day (each band played twice) was the Sandy Back Porch. Sandy and her band are all about entertaining and today was no different. Sandy Holdman, Stan Burns, Mike Heffinger are all skilled musicians and filling in on Fiddle was Sue Tice, once of the best you will ever hear. The band mixed in hits, original music, dancing and comedy which kept smiles on all the fans faces. Sandy even participated in the “Spouse Call” in-between sets (which is similar to a hog call) and nearly came in first…and second!

A picturesque park, perfect weather, well-chosen local bands, record attendance and delicious food all factored into making the Ft. Christmas Bluegrass Festival one to remember!

Justin Mason, Florida Bluegrass Network

#fbn #floridabluegrassnetwork #bluegrass

Ft Christmas

Since 1837, a wooden fort has stood in Christmas Florida. Created as a supply depot for the US Military in its “Seminole War” it now stands as a historical site for which the town was named after. For many years now, this site has hosted a Bluegrass festival and this year’s Ft Christmas Bluegrass Festival was the very best in years. With the day having picture perfect weather, family came out in droves to hear the Bluegrass music and spend time with loved ones. The playground was full of children, the adjacent field full of cards and the crowd was full from the stage to the road.

The Canada Brothers were the first band to take the stage sporting many decades of Bluegrass experience playing with some of the legends of Bluegrass. Clarence, Lester and Marie make up the family portion of the band filling out the lineup was Colton McCormick and Justin Mason. The band played Bluegrass classic and were dressed “to the nines” giving the feel of an old school Bluegrass show.

Taking the stage next was the Freightliners, and they kept the crowd into the music playing Bluegrass hits ranging from Flatt & Scruggs to the Steel Drivers. Doug Buchheister, Bill Miller, Michael McKee, Byron Holton, and Teresa Holton make up the band. Each member can be found most Friday nights at the Ocoee jam, but on stage they took it up another level. The vocals mix so well and the fun they have on stage is palpable. Mixed into the hit songs were a few originals that were so bluegrass you would have sworn they were written by Bill Monore himself.

Third in line was Rekindled Grass. CJ McClellan leads the band, and got some of his closest friends to fill in at the show. Even though CJ admitted certain band members has only heard some of the songs once, you would have never known they were not a seasoned touring band together for years. The vocals were so tight that some people were leaving food lines to come and see who was singing. I have had the good fortune to see some of the band members in other acts and once I saw them warm up knew it was going to be good.

The final band of the day (each band played twice) was the Sandy Back Porch. Sandy and her band are all about entertaining and today was no different. Sandy Holdman, Stan Burns, Mike Heffinger are all skilled musicians and filling in on Fiddle was Sue Tice, once of the best you will ever hear. The band mixed in hits, original music, dancing and comedy which kept smiles on all the fans faces. Sandy even participated in the “Spouse Call” in-between sets (which is similar to a hog call) and nearly came in first…and second!

A picturesque park, perfect weather, well-chosen local bands, record attendance and delicious food all factored into making the Ft. Christmas Bluegrass Festival one to remember!

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