Hank Fest brings music to heart of Georgiana

Published 3:49 pm Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The annual tribute to Butler County’s most famous native son returns June 11 and 12 to Georgiana.

The 31st annual Hank Williams Festival will bring a variety of entertainers, including some familiar Butler County faces and others from as far away as Liverpool, England, to perform at the Hank Williams Music Park in the heart of Georgiana.

Headliner for Friday night will be Billy Joe Royal, a past favorite on the festival stage. A successful artist in both the pop and country genres with a string of chart toppers from the ’60s through the ’90s, Royal will perform numbers like his breakout hit, “Down in the Boondocks,” along with tunes like “It Keeps Right On Hurting” and “Tell It Like It Is.”

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Saturday night’s headliner is Louisiana native Sammy Kershaw, who has had more than 25 Top 40 singles, including his number one hit “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful,” along with songs like “Queen of My Double-Wide Trailer,” “Haunted Heart” and “Third Rate Romance.”

Gates open on Friday, June 11 at 3 p.m. with the music kicking off at 4 p.m. Attendees can enjoy a barbecue plate for $10 beginning at 5 p.m.

Along with Royal, perennial fan favorite Brad Magness and the Flying Buffaloes and Jeff Whitlow will be taking the stage on Friday.

Saturday, June 12, festival goers can look forward to a full day of music in the park. Gates open at 8 a.m. with music beginning at 9 a.m.

Several performers, including former “Drifting Cowboy” guitarist Clent Holmes and The Drifters, other former members of the Drifting Cowboys, Logan and Colby Spicer, Frank Tuma, Hank Williams Fan Club president John Wise and the Slim Pickins’ Band, Jessica Strenth, the Queens, Terry Smith and others will perform from 9 a.m. to noon.

On Saturday afternoon, Elaine McMillan, Greenville’s Suanne Lewis, Mary McDonald, Colon Leatherwood, Brad Magness, Jeff Whitlow and Georgiana’s own songstress, Starla Jones, will take the stage.

Hank’s daughter Jett will make her 19th appearance at the festival at 7 p.m. Saturday, with Kershaw scheduled to perform at 9 p.m.

In addition to good tunes, plenty of tasty concessions, arts and crafts and Hank memorabilia will be available during the two-day event.

Bring your lawn chairs; no lounge chairs, coolers, food, drinks or pets allowed in the park.

Tickets are $15 for Friday and $25 for Saturday.

A special weekend ticket good for both days can be purchased for just $30 through June 10. This discounted two-day pass must be purchased in advance. To order, or for more information, call 334-376-2396 or log on to www.hankwilliamsfestival.com.