Set as a one-day event for 2023, to be held in the Historic Ritz Theatre at the Schaefer Center in downtown Toccoa on April 1, dates for a two-day festival are already booked for 2024. Built as a movie house in 1939, the Ritz has been recognized by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, and won their Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Rehabilitation in 2017. It is now owned by the city, and operated as a multi-function entertainment enter.
Scheduled to appear this year are Terry Baucom’s Dukes 0f Drive, Shannon Slaughter & County Clare, Backline, The Wilder Flower, and the Edgar Loudermilk Band. Cindy Baucom of Knee Deep in Bluegrass will serve as Master of Ceremonies.
Toccoa is part of the area where Loudermilk grew up in Georgia, and only a short drive from his home in the northern part of the state. He tells us that when the city reached out to him with the idea for a festival, he was only too happy to be involved. In addition to touring and recording with his band, Edgar also produces the Brown County Bluegrass Festival in Georgetown, OH, and is partnered with Gary Strong for the WOBO Bluegrass Bash in Ohio.
Advance tickets for the Toccoa Ritz Bluegrass Festival are only $20 for all-day music starting at noon, and $25 at the door. They can be purchased from EventBrite or the Ritz Theatre box office online.