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Two stars to headline local folk, bluegrass festival

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The Titusville Folk & Bluegrass Festival (formerly HOTA Fest) is returning again this summer from June 28 through July 1. This picture from last year’s event sees a large crowd of community members listening to a performer in Scheide Park.

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Lisa Loeb and Dorothy “Dar” Williams are the headlining acts for this year’s annual Titusville Folk & Bluegrass Festival from June 28 through July 1.

The four-day celebration has been an annual event in Titusville since 2011, and was previously known as HOTA Fest. According to the Titusville Council of the Arts Executive Director Ashley Eichhorn-Thompson, the community celebration is continuing to grow in popularity.

“Artists want to perform as much as possible, so I think that we’re actually a great area because of how close we are to Pittsburgh,” Eichhorn-Thompson said. “We were very lucky this year to have gotten two nationally recognized performers for this year. It’s really incredible.”

Loeb, whose “Feel What U Feel” won the Grammy for Best Children’s Album in 2018, is a singer-songwriter from Bethesda, Maryland, who originally gained notoriety for her 1994 hit song “Stay (I Missed You)” that reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She will be performing on June 28 with The Probables, a band local to the Titusville area.

Williams is a nationally accredited folk music star, with Hendrik Hertzberg of The New Yorker describing her as “one of America’s best singer songwriters.” She is from New York and will take the stage on July 1 evening alongside another local band, Joe Thompson & Friends.

Eichhorn-Thompson said that it was important for organizers that, in addition to brining in high profile artists, local performers be given the same opportunity to showcase their own talents.

“It’s a goal of ours each year to recognize and support local bands through the festival,” Eichhorn-Thompson said. “The community really appreciates the bigger names that we’ve been able to attract, but we always here how much they love the local acts too.”

Tickets are available for sale on the festival’s Facebook page for the shows on June 28 and July 1. Both performances by Loeb and Williams will be preceded by an hour-long question and answer session before the show begins in University of Pittsburgh-Titusville’s Henne auditorium. Eichhorn-Thompson also reiterated that tickets for both Loeb and Williams’ performances will be available for purchase at the door on each day.

Eichhorn-Thompson said that live music will be performed rain or shine in Scheide Park and, unlike the concerts on June 28 and July 1, is free to the public. Food trucks, vendors, amateur artists and musicians will all be in attendance.

“There will be workshops and craft activities for children in addition to food vendors throughout Scheide Park,” Eichhorn-Thompson said. “The official rundown for events on Sunday (June 30) aren’t yet set in stone, but free live music will be available that day too.”

Eichhorn-Thompson has been encouraged by the engagement that community members have shown on social media and expects to have a big turnout for this year’s festival. She said that putting this event on each year brings her a great deal of joy and that she loves seeing the community come together and celebrate.

“We would like to get the most people as possible to come out and hear some great music,” Eichhorn-Thompson said. “That’s what this is really all about.”

Loeb’s question and answer session will kick-off the weekend of music celebration at 5 p.m. on June 28. After two free days of music in Scheide Park on June 29 and 30, Williams will end the festivities with her performance at Henne Auditorium on July 1 at 7 p.m.

Zook can be reached, by email, at news@tituvilleherald.com.

1 image

Contributed photo

The Titusville Folk & Bluegrass Festival (formerly HOTA Fest) is returning again this summer from June 28 through July 1. This picture from last year’s event sees a large crowd of community members listening to a performer in Scheide Park.