On the third Saturday of every June at Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, the Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition features some of the region’s best traditional musicians. From time to time, they have shared the stage with bluegrass bands from Europe.
The event takes its name from National Heritage Award recipient Wayne C. Henderson, a musician and instrument maker who lives in nearby Rugby, Virginia. Henderson’s top-notch finger-picking is a source of great pleasure and pride to his friends, family, and neighbors in Grayson County, Virginia. His guitar playing has also been enjoyed at Carnegie Hall, in three national tours of Masters of the Steel-String Guitar and in seven nations of Europe, Asia and Africa.
Wayne and many of his musical friends are featured performers at the festival, with bluegrass and old-time music dominating the program. The Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition was established in 1995 to express appreciation for this living legend. A portion of the proceeds from the festival are placed into a scholarship fund to aid local young musicians in continuing their educations. More than $237,950 has been awarded through the 2018 festival.
This year’s event schedule includes Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Redd Volkeart and Bill Kirchen, Shadow Grass, The Harris Brothers, The Sea Cruisers and of course Wayne C Henderson himself. For schedule times, click here.
Wayne C Henderson and Friends, are scheduled to take the stage at 5:45 p.m. Concessions will also be available throughout the day. You can find answers to more frequently asked questions online.
Grayson Highlands State Park is located in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia. Drive Time: Northern Va., 6.5 hours; Richmond, 5.5 hours; Virginia Beach, 7.5 hours; Roanoke, 2.5 hours; Winston-Salem, 1.5 hours; Charlotte, 1.5 hours; Raleigh, 4 hours. Click here for Google map directions.
Because of the high elevation the weather can be cooler than you might expect in June. This event is rain or shine so you may want to bring a long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt or jacket.
The festival is from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and is held at the park’s picnic area. Festival tickets are $20 for everyone 13 years old and older. Children under 12 are free with paid adult admission to the festival. The regular parking fee does apply to all vehicles entering the park. The festival is also part of the Mountains of Music Homecoming series sponsored by The Crooked Road.
If you love bluegrass and old-time music, then you won’t want to miss this fantastic festival in the mountains of Virginia.