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Pickin’ on the Parkway

Summer concert series coming to scenic Blue Ridge roadway 

This summer when you’re cruising through the mountains you can pull over and hear traditional Appalachian sounds. 

Twin Creeks. Photos courtesy of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.

Some of the South’s top regional pickers and singers are set to perform at scenic stops along the Blue Ridge Parkway. As part of a free concert series, Milepost Music, the music starts this month, featuring bluegrass and roots acts at popular destinations on the 469-mile roadway, including Humpback Rocks, Peaks of Otter, and Mabry Mill in Virginia, and the Bluffs Restaurant in North Carolina. 

The afternoon shows take place at five different destinations on rotating Sundays from 1 to 3pm, with the first happening June 5 at Peaks of Otter. 

Performers include the McKenzies, Twin Creeks Stringband, Big Ron Hunter, Ashlee Watkins & Andrew Small, Harmony Hill, and Beverly Street String Band, among others.

A full schedule is listed below:

Humpback Rocks, milepost 5.8 (near Visitor Center & Picnic Area), Virginia

Third Sunday of the month (June 19, July 17, Aug. 21, Sept. 18)

Peaks of Otter, milepost 85.6 (near the Peaks of Otter Lodge), Virginia

First Sunday of the month (June 5, July 3, Aug. 7, Sept. 4)

Roanoke Mountain Day Picnic Area, milepost 120.4, Virginia

Third Sunday of the month (July 17, Aug. 21, Sept. 18)

Mabry Mill, milepost 176.1 (in the Old Mill Village), Virginia

Second Sunday of the month (June 12, July 10, Aug. 14, Sept. 11)

The Bluffs Restaurant, milepost 241 (near the lodge at Doughton Park), North Carolina

Fourth Sunday of the month (June 26, July 24, August 28, September 25)

The series is presented by the nonprofit Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, National Park Service, and the Blue Ridge Music Center. The latter, located on the parkway at milepost 213 near Galax, Va., also has a full slate of tunes planned for the summer, including shows from Steep Canyon Rangers (August 6), the Steel Wheels (August 27), and Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway (September 3).

Cover photo: The Bouncers at Humpback Rocks courtesy of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.

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