Withlacoochee Bluegrass Festival postponed after tornado hits

Tornado damage in Ocala, FL – photo from City of Ocala

This weekend’s Withlacoochee Bluegrass Festival in Dunnellon, FL has been postponed following a tornado touching down in the park on March 12.

The festival has been hosted since 2013 by Danny and Christa Stewart, minus the 2021 event due to COCID-19 restrictions. They have rescheduled for November 17-19 of this year, and all ticketholders will be admitted to the November festival with no need to contact the Stewarts. The same is true for campsites.

Those unable to make the rescheduled dates are asked to contact Danny Stewart by email for refund information.

The National Weather Service in Jacksonville reported on Saturday that and EF-1 tornado with wind speeds of 110 mph passed near Dunnellon and Ocala, FL at 7:48 a.m. It left a path of destruction roughly 25 miles long and 65 yards wide, and is thought to have stayed on the ground for 28 minutes. Local authorities estimate total damages up to $15 million.

The Stewarts have been out to the park and say that trees and electric poles are down, and there is no chance of having power and services restored in time for the festival, originally planned for March 17-19.

In a message to attendees, they shared…

“We are truly thankful that we were not at the park with you all when this storm came through. God is good and we all are counting our blessings today. We thank you for your understanding and patience at this time and promise you a BIG TIME in November. God Bless you, we love you, Danny & Christa Stewart.”

All the entertainers booked for this weekend have been confirmed to come in November, and the park will be fully cleaned and ready.

Sounds like a close brush for Withlacoochee.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.