The soothing sound of Marion County Lake water softly lapping up against a bank soon will be drowned out by laughter and twangy tunes when guests file in June 16 for Bluegrass at the Lake.
This is the 11th year for the festival, but the first for which there will be a cover charge of $5 for anyone 13 years of age and older.
“We wanted to make it more self-sustaining so we didn’t have to rely as heavily on sponsor money next year,” lake superintendent Isaac Hett said.
The next couple of weeks will be filled with preparations to make sure everything is ready for the projected 1,500 to 2,000 attendees.
“The big part of it is getting enough bands to play and coming to agreements with payments,” Hett said. “We also have to come up with poster ideas. There is a silent auction that goes on during the festival, so we come up with items for that as well. Recently, they’ve started a couple of food vendors, too.”
Setting up the stage, gathering equipment for a corn hole tournament, and getting greenery trimmed and looking nice is also on the list of things to do.
“This year we have a full power source right at the stage with actual electrical boxes — not a generator as they have before,” Hett said.
Music will start with a battle of the bands from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Six bands will follow, the last beginning at 10:15 p.m.
County residents can camp for $13 for a night if hooked up to water and electric, $7 if not. Others pay $1 extra.
“In the past, people have been really good about cleaning up after themselves,” he said. “We also put up extra trash cans in a central location.”
Extra toilets will be available too, Hett said.