Kellie Pickler was named as the headliner for the 2013 Pickin' in the Panhandle event to be held Sept. 6-8 at Shiley Acres in Inwood. The announcement was made at a press conference Tuesday which also included the names of the additional 21 acts that will take to the stage over the three-day event.
Pickler made her debut on American Idol and is currently a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. Her current release is 100 Proof, a collection of songs that reverberate with an emotional intensity hinted at on her first two albums.
Also on stage throughout the weekend will be Nashville artists Marty Rabon, the Darrell Web Band, the Chris Lane Band and the Davisson Brothers. The line up will also feature such names as Mountain Heart, Danni Leigh, Cold Stream Road, Randy Cook and the Commonwealth Bluegrass Band, Lonesome Highway, Crossbonz, Chad Laughlin and Blue Ridge Rain, The Steeldrivers and Balsom Range.
Local artists including the Back Creek Valley Boys, Stoney Creek, Dry Mill Road, Ragged Edge and Christian Lopez and Joe Taxi will show off the area's finest musicians.
Pickin' in the Panhandle, produced by the Martinsbirg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitor's Bureau since 2007, changes location from the the Lazy A Campgrounds in the Back Creek Valley to Shiley Acres.
Greg Shiley said at the press conference that the decision to move to Shiley Acres is one that will allow the venue to grow. The lineup for this year has already expanded from the traditional bluegrass aspect to include country bands as well.
"In today's society you need to expose people to different types of music," Shiley said indicating that young people listen to more country than bluegrass. The Pickin' event offers the exposure to new types of music while offering things young people already like, he said.
"I don't think we need to drive to D.C. or Baltimore or a Jamboree in the Hills in Ohio," Shiley said. "We can do it right here."He believes that the Pickin' lineup is as good as any festival around the country.
"Pickin' is new to us," Shiley said. "We have only done one-day shows before. It's been tough...a real challenge," he said, "but we're up for it."
Shiley Acres, a 42-acre venue south of Martinsburg, was opened in 1976. Closed for 18 years, Shiley Acres reopened in 2012. It can comfortably hold about 8,000 people, Shiley said. Future expansion will increase that to about 10,000 by this summer. Shiley said he leases an additional 60 acres and has additional acreage if needed. The acreage offers dry camping spots for approximately 300 sites, Shiley said.
In addition to the musical performances at Pickin' in the Panhandle, attendees can look forward to the continuation of the West Virginia State BBQ championship and the Backyard BBQ Championship. More information about the BBQ Championship and Backyard BBQ are available on the CVB's website at www.travelwv.com. Locals are encouraged to compete in the backyard event.
Announced Tuesday as well was a partnership between Pickin' in the Panhandle and the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. Ticket proceeds from every ticket sold on Sunday will go entirely to the Toys for Tots program locally. Toys for Tots of the Eastern Panhandle services eight counties and served over 6,000 children last year.
In addition to supporting this charity, it was also announced that $2 of each ticket that is sold at Food Lion stores will go to the Children's Miracle Network, a charity consistently supported by Food Lion.
Tickets may be purchased as a three-day event pass for $75 or per day for $35 for Friday, $45 for Saturday and $20 for Sunday. Camping passes are also avaialble for $75 per space for the weekend which covers two individuals on the site. Additional campers are $10 each for the weekend. Campers must have a three-day ticket to camp. Tickets may be purchased locally as the event gets closer as well as online at www.shileyacres.net or www.panhandlepickin.com.