Bluegrass Family Day to support American Cancer Society

jojacobs@tidewaterreview.com

Just in time for summer's start, the annual Bluegrass Family Day is coming June 24 to Middle Peninsula Regional Airport. The event boasts a variety of activities, like a car show and airplane rides, amid the sound of bluegrass tunes.

"We have something for the whole family," event organizer Carter Clements said.

The free event returns for its 12th year to provide financial support to the American Cancer Society and honor those affected by cancer. Money raised by the event will be given to the organization, Clements said.

New this year are a larger contingent of police cars hailing from 13 localities as well as a military helicopter.

Clements started the event to honor his wife, Mary Ann, who died of cancer in 2004.

"She was a wonderful person," said Clements, who added some of the event's bands had shared the stage with his wife, who was a musician.

True to its name, the event will feature bluegrass and other musical acts like Solid Rock, Rappahannock Crossing, Old Dogs New Tricks, Josh Gribsby and the County Line, Heritage and Flatland Bluegrass Band starting at 10 a.m. until the end of the day.

Also on tap are airplanes, both on display and for rides. Aircraft include military craft and a rescue helicopter. Attendees can ride in an airplane at the event, and sky drivers will jump out of planes throughout the day.

A car show as well as fire and rescue vehicles and antique tractor and equipment exhibits are part of the event. Children's activities like a bounce house, clowns, slides and train rides will be available.

A raffle will be held and will feature prizes like a 40-inch Smart TV, gazebo and patio set and a Blu Ray player.

The event will offer just about anything food wise. A pancake, sausage and egg breakfast will start the day. Food trucks will be on site as well, Clements said.

Last year the event made $17,000 despite rain, which hampered attendance and vendor participation. Bluegrass Family Day has collected approximately $100,000 since its inception. Roughly 750 people turned out last year, about half of the estimated 1,500 who showed up in 2015, Clements said.

The event will be held 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Saturday. Admission is free.

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

Bluegrass Family Day

When: 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., June 24.

Where: Middle Peninsula Regional Airport, 1000 Airport Road.

Cost: free.

For more information, call 804-815-9108 or visit bluegrassfamilydayandfly-in.weebly.com.

To make a donation, make a check payable to the American Cancer Society and send to 145 Airport Road, Mattaponi, Va. 23110.

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