In honor of their 20th anniversary, Brady’s Produce and the Southwest Virginia Farmers’ Market will hold a day-long bluegrass concert featuring the Lonesome River Band on Sat., Sept. 29.
Local bands Willard Gayheart and Friends, Crossroads, and Southern Pride will also be performing Saturday. There is no admission charge, but Brady’s Produce is currently conducting a food drive, so admission will be canned or non-perishable items that will be distributed to local churches and food panties.
“Technically it is a free concert, but we think the admission charge is for a worthy cause. We will put up a donation box and use it to buy food for those who come without canned or non-perishable items,” said Donna Peery of Brady’s Produce. “With fall and the holiday season coming up, times will be tight and we thought it would be a good thing for us to do.”
Music will begin at 2 p.m. at the Farmers’ Market and culminate at 7 p.m. when the Lonesome River Band hits the stage for a pair of 45-minute sets. Since forming in 1982, Lonesome River Band has received many awards and recognitions, including a large number from the International Bluegrass Music Association. The IBMA has honored the group for Album of the Year and leader Sammy Shelor has been recognized as Banjo Performer of the Year four times.
“We thought it would be a good way to give back to the community. Granted, my dad (the late Donald Brady) started this business, but you don’t build a business on your own. It takes the support of people in your community and the people coming through your community,” Peery said. “This is our way of giving back to them because they gave to us. There is not enough we can do to thank people, and we thought this would be a nice thing to do on a fall afternoon, and people wouldn’t have to invest a lot in it. Bring some food for local food pantries, bring a lawn chair and sit down and just enjoy.”
The Southwest Virginia Farmers’ Market opened in Hillsville in July of 1992. Donald Brady made the first sale as area dignitaries bought heads of cabbage from him at the opening event in the old open-air Farmers’ Market. The Farmers’ Market moved to its current location in 1995 after then-Congressman Rick Boucher assisted in getting money for the new building.
“There have been many different vendors and farmers in and out of this building, but we are the only one that’s been here for the whole 20 years,” Peery said of Brady’s Produce. “It is actually a celebration for both Brady’s and the Farmers’ Market because they are both synonymous with each other.”
The Carroll County Agricultural Fair Committee will also be selling concessions to help generate funds for next year’s Agricultural Fair.
“We want everyone to come and camp out for the day and enjoy fun and fellowship,” Peery said.