It’s a Thursday evening in our small town of McCaysville, Georgia.
Well before six-o-clock, the Horseshoe Bend Park is filling with people setting up lawn chairs alongside the river and near the pavilions.
They wave to their neighbors who they haven’t seen all week and unwrap their sandwiches and pour cups of ice tea.
Musicians are walking in to all corners of the park carrying guitar, banjo and fiddle cases. Some groups are already pickin’.
Under the oak trees, children eagerly gather around and listen to a “drum circle” played by musicians from the area folk music club.
The Dulcimer ladies have arrived and are tuning up.
It’s been a busy week for most everyone there, but as the sun dips behind the tree tops;
Pickin’ in the Park effortlessly gets underway.
The atmosphere of the park, with music and laughter coming from here and there,
makes everyone relax and start thinking about the upcoming weekend.
The community once again finds its center.
This was not our initial vision for Pickin’ in the Park.
We thought we would just gather up a few musicians and send the word out to others in the area to.
“come pick” each week.
On the first night of Pickin’ in the Park, over 1000 people, picnickers and musicians, showed up…..
more than the entire population of our town.
Taken by surprise, we realized right away that we didn’t have a parking plan in place.
But lo and behold, those in attendance jumped in to direct traffic flow and assist those that needed extra help.
In a way, this snag was a benefit,
as folks took immediate “ownership” of the success of this unique weekly, community gathering.
Every Thursday evening, May through September, starting at about 6:00 pm
Pickin’ at Horseshoe Bend is a place where folks get an early start on their weekend.
The numbers may vary; sometimes only 400 people attend, other nights we top 1500.
But the enthusiasm for this event on the part of the musicians, listeners, sponsors and partners has never let up.
It now belongs to the musicians of community, and the organizing team is just the “overseer”.
Horseshoe Bend Park Address:
1156 River Road
Mineral Bluff, GA. 30559