WESTFIELD — Live bluegrass music will return to the Nunn Brothers Music Park beginning today at 7 p.m., and will remain for much of the weekend. This year’s lineup will include The Lost & Found Band, a nationally known bluegrass band that has been playing and recording for 42 years.
The 17th annual Nunn Brothers Bluegrass Festival will be hosted by twin brothers and musicians Alden and Arnold Nunn at their namesake park, located in the rural Woodville community where both grew up and continue to live today.
The festival will kick off with an evening musicians’ jam session today that will be free and open to all.
A full Friday evening lineup will begin at 7 p.m. The Nunn Brothers and Friends will perform with hosts Alden and Arnold Nunn to be accompanied by local musicians Hersey McMillian and Doug Joyce. Other bands scheduled to perform include The Marshall Brothers and High Road as well as Hubert Lawson and the Bluegrass Country Boys.
Saturday performances will begin at 5 p.m., with the Nunn Brothers and Friends to be joined by the groups Pathway and Rich in Traditions. The featured performance of the evening will see The Lost & Found Band taking the stage.
The much anticipated visit from The Lost & Found Band will feature a live performance by the group well-known for its recorded music and television appearances. Band members include founding member Allen Mills, who has been with the group throughout its 42-year history.
“We’d seen and heard them on television and radio,” Arnold Nunn said, “and we were happy to be able to get them. I’m looking forward to seeing them in person.”
“These are talented professionals and it’s an honor to have them here,” Alden Nunn agreed. “But all of our bands are talented. So many of our local bands are rich in this area’s music tradition.”
Saturday evening also will feature a fireworks display, scheduled for 9:30 p.m., provided by Morris 4X4 Center in Pompano Beach, Florida.
As has become a festival tradition, Sunday will be dedicated to gospel music and message. Music will include The Orange Family, Harvest Time, the Nunn Brothers and others performing from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Brother Sammy Lawson will also be preaching a sermon.
Admission will be $9 for Friday and $10 for Saturday while no admission will be charged for today and Sunday. Children age 10 and younger will be admitted free throughout the weekend.
Plenty of parking is available, but organizers recommend that those attending bring lawn chairs as well as umbrellas and jackets in case of a sudden shower. Some tents are set up for shade and primitive camping is available. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed.
Concessions will be available for purchase including food by Billy’s Concessions and drinks by the youth at Albion Baptist Church.
“This is a lot of work,” Alden Nunn said, “but everybody enjoys it. There’s music going the entire time and it’s the only week when I really feel like I’m on vacation.
“People tell us they mark their calendars for it and look forward to it getting here,” he continued. “They can’t believe something like this happens here in the country, where you can get to it without ever going through a stoplight. It carries on a lot of tradition and heritage and it’s a joy to see the faces of the friends we’ve made over the years.”
“It’s like a big homecoming every year,” Arnold Nunn agreed. “We don’t get to play as much as we used to and we enjoy playing here. This is our 17th year and, now that we’ve got it started, I don’t want to quit until I can’t do it anymore.”
The Nunn Brothers voiced appreciation to the Surry County Sheriff’s Office, the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department and the Mount Airy Rescue Squad for their support during the weekend.
Once a tobacco field worked by the Nunn family, the Nunn Brothers Music Park and its adjacent stream now reflect the rural history of local bluegrass music.
The brothers have deep roots in the tiny Woodville community, located just north of Westfield, and with the music they grew up playing and loving. With music a family passion, impromptu bluegrass jam sessions were common in the Nunns’ boyhood home and large gatherings of family and friends would often be built around the chance to play.
The brothers have dedicated the festival to the memory of their father, Clarence Olin Nunn, who died in 1979.
The park is also dedicated to their father as well as to the memory of loved ones A. Blaine Nunn (1967-1985), Delmer C. Inman (1935-2001), T. Haakon Chilton (1918-2004), Robert J. Hall (1935-2011) and Walter L. Rogers (1919-2012).
From Pilot Mountain, the park can be reached by taking Old Westfield Road to its end at Westfield Baptist Church and turning left onto Highway 89 (Westfield Road). Turn right after approximately 3 miles onto Woodville Road. The park is located 3/4 miles on the right.
Additional information on the festival can be found at www.nunnbrothers.com or by calling 351-5543 or 351-4690.
Dean Palmer may be reached at 336-351-4131 or [email protected]