After successfully managing the resurrected spring bluegrass festival at the Sertoma Youth Ranch in Florida, Evans Media Source has been announced as the new producers of the Thanksgiving weekend festival as well.
A number of recent changes have led to this decision. The Youth Ranch is dissolving its ownership of the park, which will be assumed by the Will McLean Foundation. McLean was a popular folk singer and songwriter in Florida during the 20th century, and the Foundation exists to both promote continued interest in the music he wrote while alive, and to facilitate interest and education for Florida artists. They are also very involved in youth programs, as has been the ranch for many years. Sertoma, the name of the international service agency, is a shortening of the phrase, Service to Mankind.
The Will McLean Music Festival has also been held at the Youth Ranch since 1990, so the Foundation was eager to pick up the ball when the current ownership was ready to let it go.
Ernie Evans, who runs Evans Media Source with his wife, Debi, says that they are delighted to take over management of the Thanksgiving festival this November, its 43rd iteration, just as they have many other festivals around the country.
“It is always an honor to carry on a long tradition built by so many over the years, it makes you want to try harder to make sure that the festival continues to not only carry on but go to the next level so it can be successful when handing off to the next person. I remember performing 25 years ago when promoter Steve Dittman was running it, I never dreamed that the responsibility would be mine.”
The Will McLean Foundation will be in change of the Sertoma Youth Ranch starting October 31 of this year. It is unclear if any change will be made to the name of the park.
The 2022 Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival at the Park in Brooksville, FL is scheduled for November 24-26. Weather is still nice in Florida that time of year, so bluegrass lovers further north frequently make the trip down to spend Thanksgiving with their favorite entertainers.
Artists booked for this year include the Bluegrass Cardinals Reunion show, Lonesome River Band, Larry Stephenson, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, and several others.
Evans says that this change has occurred so quickly that he doesn’t yet have details and ticket purchasing up on their web site, but that folks are welcome to contact Evans Media Source online or by phone (386-385-3500) for details.