Annual bluegrass event Sunday

By Nicole Kiefert - Special to TimeOut

August 7, 2014

WEST BEND - For some, there’s no better way to spend a summer day than to gather friends and family and listen to bluegrass music. The eighth annual Bluegrass at the Village event is Sunday in the historical Ozaukee County Pioneer Village, 4880 Highway I, Saukville.

The band lineup includes Chicken Wire Empire, Pickin’ up Speed, Roller Mills String Band, Big Cedar and The Henhouse Prowlers.

The Henhouse Prowlers
 Submitted photo

Four of the five bands performing are from Wisconsin. The headliner, The Henhouse Prowlers, is a nationally known bluegrass band from Chicago.

Mary Ann Velnetske is chairwoman of Ozaukee County Historical Society Board.

“We have a lot of popular bands, and our headliner did a tour of Africa and Europe and they were voted America’s favorite bluegrass band,” Velnetske said.

The event will have fiddlers greeting people at the door, a vintage market with vendors selling homemade and handcrafted items, a beer and wine tent and concessions. Also available are free tours of the historical buildings in the Pioneer Village and a raffle.

Ozaukee County Historical Society member Lucy Kolb credits Bob Jacobs, a fellow member and previous chairman of the Ozaukee County Historical Society, with the idea to have the event.

“It was actually Dr. Bob Jacobs’ idea. He was on the board of the Ozaukee County Historical Society and he said he had just been to a bluegrass special and he said how fun it would be at Pioneer Village,” Kolb said.

“It’s a little funny,” Jacobs said. “I looked at the schedule, I was on the board at the time, and at a board meeting I noticed the calendar was open in August but we had something in June, July and September, and I simply said ‘have you ever thought about having a bluegrass concert?’ and that idea made me the chairman.”

Jacobs’ wife, Marilyn, said she has been involved in the bluegrass event since the beginning.

“I love seeing all these people coming and having a really really good time after we’ve worked to put it together and to see the smiles on their faces,” Marilyn Jacobs said.

Kolb said there are so many things to do that it is a perfect event for a Saturday afternoon.

“They get to enjoy a little of everything,” Kolb said. “It’s just a beautiful way to spend a lovely summer day in Ozaukee County. The ride out here is gorgeous, too. It’s beautiful no matter which direction you’re coming from.”

“I think it’s fun for all ages,” Velnetske said. “I mean, if you like music, it’s fun, if you like history, it’s fun, if you just like a nice place to go on a sunny afternoon, it’s fun.”

There will be a tent covering the concert area in case of rain.

Velnetske said the proceeds raised go toward renovations and additions to the facility at Pioneer Village.

Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students and members of the historical society. Children five and younger are free.

Concessions open at 11:30 a.m. and the first band takes stage at 12:30 p.m.