McCann: Dulcimer festival, comedy highlight weekend festivities

Published 11:03 am Thursday, August 29, 2019

Winchester always ends summer on a high note with its Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival in College and Lykins parks.

The Labor Day festivities also culminate Monday morning with the crowning of the Labor Day Queen and the Labor Day Parade.

But featured parts of this weekend are the Homer Ledford Dulcimer Festival and a Night of Comedy at the Leeds Center for the Arts as well as some street dancing.

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Dulcimer Festival

Caywood Ledford, of the University of Kentucky announcing fame, isn’t the only Ledford heard around Clark County for much of the 20th century.

Homer Ledford, luthier and singer and the leader of the Cabin Creek Band, is one of our county’s lasting contributions to bluegrass music.

Though Ledford died in 2012, we can still hear his music and his astonishing instruments.

I make mention of Mr. Ledford because this weekend of the Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival and the Labor Day festivities also brings to town the Homer Ledford Dulcimer Festival.

While the other weekend events are elsewhere, the dulcimer festival takes place at the Robert D. Campbell Junior High School on Boone Avenue and the Bluegrass Heritage Museum on Main Street.

Registration for the Festival is $90, though some events are free.

The festival opens at 6:30 p.m. Friday with a free presentation by Don Pedi: “The Revival of the Mountain Dulcimer 1960 to the Present” at the Bluegrass Heritage Museum.

On Saturday, dulcimer, mountain and bluegrass enthusiasts can take classes in dulcimer, ukulele, Native American flute and pennywhistle.

Musical offerings related to the classes are also diverse with topics including learning to play the music of Stephen Foster, mountain ballads, hymns, Scottish songs, coal mining songs and fiddle tunes.

During lunch Saturday, you can enjoy a $6 box lunch, enjoy the jam session or shake off your after-lunch lethargy square dancing, Sarah Morgan calling.

The Homer Ledford Dulcimer Festival concludes Saturday with a concert at 6:30 p.m.

The Back Room Bluegrass Band featuring Don Pedi dulcimer, Robert Tincher, John and Karen Keane, Stephen Seifert, Joe LaMay and Sherri Reese, Trish Torline, Dave Haas and Sarah Morgan will perform. Call the Bluegrass Heritage Museum for more information.

Dancing, comedy on Main Street

Friday night can get your weekend off to a rousing start.

On Main Street, up around the courthouse, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., attend the street dancing featuring the Chris Shouse Trio and the Mercy Men.

Down the street from the dancing, from 7 to 9 p.m. is “Night with Friends: An Evening of Comedy” at the Leeds Center for the Arts featuring DD Rainbow, LC Funny and Shirley “Moms Maybe” Whitemore.

Tickets are $10 and are available at

A funny ending

Looking for a funny ending for your Sunday?

Well, look no further than Lexington and the “Let There Be Laughter Comedy Tour.” Sponsored by the Lexington Unity Worship Center, the standup comedy event starts at 6 p.m. at 1975 Haggard Court.

It features Christian comedian Chris Cherry with Ron Ron Moseley, Dwight McCormick and Demond Cherry.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Family tickets are $40 for up to six admissions.

Frank Lloyd Wright and Norton Center

Over in Danville, beginning Sept. 3 and running through the end of this year, the Norton Center for the Arts at Centre College will host an art exhibit called, “The Wright Angle: The Norton Center for the Arts, Wesley Peters and Frank Lloyd Wright.”

According to the Norton Center’s website, the exhibit is part of Centre College’s celebration of its 200th anniversary. Specifically, “The Wright Angle” explores the Norton Center’s distinct design and its relationship to architectural pioneers Frank Lloyd Wright and William Wesley Peters.

According to the website, the exhibit comprises of a collection of photos, essays, exploration stations and walking tours intended to help visitors better understand the “history and lore” of the Norton Center.

The exhibit is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, by appointment and when the Center is open for shows and events.

For more information, go to

Bill McCann is a playwright, poet, flash fiction writer, and teacher who writes about arts events and personalities. Reach him at