The common thread is that it's all uplifting - praise music from the heart, guaranteed to lift your spirits, make you tap your feet and clap along.
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Branson, Mo. (Vocus) August 11, 2009
From traditional quartet harmonies to upbeat country and bluegrass, Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic presents the top performers in gospel music along with hearty home-cooking served up picnic-style. The festival features 12 days of soul-stirring songs from Dove Award winners, Hall of Famers, top recording artists and up-and-coming groups, with over 300 performances during the festival, August 27 - September 7.
"The Southern Gospel genre has changed from being exclusively quartet-focused to including family groups, trios and even bluegrass and country groups, and we've got the favorites in all categories," says SDC festival coordinator, D.A. Callaway. "The common thread is that it's all uplifting - praise music from the heart, guaranteed to lift your spirits, make you tap your feet and clap along."
Featured traditional artists include multiple Dove Award winners The Kingsmen, Gold City, Brian Free & Assurance and The Booth Brothers, plus phenomenally popular groups and Dove Award winners Jeff & Sheri Easter, Karen Peck and New River and Mike & Kelly Bowling. Contemporary artists include 2008 Dove winners The Isaacs and Austins Bridge. Another crowd favorite, Callaway says, is the Reggie Saddler Family, led by former R&B artist Reggie Saddler who performed with artists from Jerry Lee Lewis to the Drifters before entering the gospel music ministry. Performances throughout the day are followed by Southern Gospel Nights concerts each evening in the park's 4,000-seat amphitheater.
New this year, worship services on Sunday, Sept. 6 will feature The Lesters and minister/humorist Dr. Dennis Swanberg. Swanberg's humor is also showcased in several performances, and comedic performers include Aaron Wilburn, Tim Lovelace and Roy Webb.
Nothing pairs with Southern Gospel music better than favorite picnic foods. The House of Chicken and Fixin's and The Picnic Wagon on the Square feature double-battered southern fried chicken, slow-roasted apple-glazed chicken and smoked barbecue chicken, with favorite "fixin's" from au gratin potatoes and coleslaw to Silver Dollar City's signature cakes.
Throughout the festival, the park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Sept. 5-6, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.). Information, schedules and tickets are at 800-831-4FUN or http://www.silverdollarcity.com .