Big Bass Bluegrass & BBQ in Florida

Dan Tyminski Band at the 2024 Big Bass Bluegrass & BBQ festival – photo © Bill Warren

The city of Inverness is to be congratulated on putting on quite a show for folks in the surrounding area. The wonderful people at Apopka Marine have sponsored a bass fishing tournament for about the past 15 years. Dale McClellan, owner and operator of M&B Dairy Products, got with Apopka and the Inverness council and city manager. He proposed expanding the tournament to include music and food. Thus Big Bass Bluegrass & BBQ was born. The inaugural show was last year and is a two day event. Friday night is ticketed and Saturday is, free. Friday night helps offset the cost of the event along with around twenty community sponsors.

The Friday night attendees are treated to a southern BBQ. The menu – fried okra, pulled pork, pork ribs, brisket, baked beans, greens, coleslaw, and cupcakes. M&B Dairy provided Cool Cow milk. It is good! There was also complimentary ice cream. This photographer went into a “food coma!”

CJ McClellan –  no relation to Dale – was the MC for the show, and everyone was treated to four great bluegrass bands.

The Little Roy and Lizzy Show kicked the entertainment off with Roy’s shenanigans, and some twin fiddling from Lizzy and Hunter Berry. They have made quite a few Florida appearances this winter season.

The mountain sound of Ralph Stanley II & The Cinch Mountain Boys gave the audience the old time sounds of the Stanley Brothers, along with the original sound of Ralph II. The band is invited to each iteration of this show.

The crowd rocked out to Monroeville. They played everything from Fox on the Run to Gimme That Old Time Rock and Roll.  Monroeville is also a staple at this event.

The Dan Tyminski Band closed out the evening. Dan has surrounded himself with a group of top shelf young musicians. His set is always a highlight.

Saturday morning saw four local bands kicking off the show. The fishing tournament also got started with over 120 anglers participating. Weigh-ins were done hourly with $1,000 awarded to the biggest fish each hour.

Morgan Brake & Duck Wallow Lane is one of Florida’s top young bands. Morgan, fiddler Ian Lane, and banjoist Nathan Beaumont are all beginning to be recognized nationally.

Deano Graham & Grass Wagon Revival treated the crowd to good bluegrass gospel. Deano travels worldwide with his ministr,y along with recording his music. He also hosts bands at his church in Eustis, Florida on a monthly basis. Deano became a first time grandpa this weekend! Congratulations!!

Southern Express Bluegrass is a group of seasoned Florida musicians. They provide a good mix of hard driving bluegrass and traditional country music.

CJ McClellan & Rekindled Bits of Grass closed out the local portion of the show. The band plays a lot of local venues and churches. CJ works diligently promoting this show and bluegrass in all of Florida.

The four bands from the Friday evening show finished out the day. BBQ food trucks and an ice cream truck kept the festival goers well fed.

This combined food and music festival saw big growth from year one. Dale is hoping to see continued growth next year and in the coming years. 

Congratulations to all who have worked so hard to make this show a success!

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