Doug Gerdon, the mandolin player for the bluegrass band Bugtussle Ramblers, calls it a unique showcase.
That’s because Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda is a nontraditional setting for bluegrass, which brings together American roots and country through music influenced by the music of Appalachia.
Fishermen’s Village, the collection of boutique shops and restaurants on Charlotte Harbor, draws people from all walks of life and all ages. Gerdon believes the chances of introducing folks to the genre and creating new followers there is greater than a bluegrass concert at a venue focused on bluegrass.
In other words, it’s a good place to make new fans.
“When you have an event of some magnitude like the one at Fishermen’s Village, people know about it and come out,” said Gerdon, of Fort Myers. “It’s a chance for people from all over to hear bluegrass played live.”
The event Gerdon referred to is the third annual Bluegrass Festival, to be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 15. There is no cost and parking is free.
“We are thrilled to welcome back some amazing bluegrass musicians to Fishermen’s Village,” said Kathy Burnam, marketing and events manager for Fishermen’s Village. “It is a great day to bring the family for music, shopping and dining and to just relax as you enjoy the good old summertime.”
The Bugtussle Ramblers is scheduled to perform at center court from noon to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to Gerdon, members include Port Charlotte’s Doug Yeahrling on guitar, Mark Iselo on bass, and Karen Batten on banjo.
“The banjo drives the sound of the group,” Gerdon said.
Gerdon also teams with Laurette Scatton to form the duo Kindred Spirit. They are scheduled to perform at the coffee shop from 11 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. The other bands scheduled are Southwind Bluegrass Band and Florida Mountain Men.
In addition to music, the event will feature Jeff the Juggler (balloon creations/magic show/juggling) and Finest Face Painting by MaryRose. A variety of vendors will be on hand on the village promenade.
“It is,” Gerdon declared, “the most fun in the world.”