UPDATE: ‘Stringbean” festival draws fans from as far away as Florida, Texas

TYNER, Ky. (WTVQ) – From the time he was 12 growing up in Jackson County, he entertained generations.

And for three days, the banjo picking and bluegrass music made famous by David ‘Stringbean’ Akemon lived on.

Saturday was the last day of the 24th annual Stringbean Festival at Stringbean Park outside of Tyner in Jackson County.

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The festival features bluegrass and country music from top artists from across the country.

In addition to locals, it attracted fans from as far away as Florida and Texas to Michigan and Missouri who take pictures with the Stringbean statues, admire mementoes and enjoy the music.

Akemon was a top musician, comedian and actor made famous on the Grand Ole Opry and the popular television show Hee Haw.

He still has relatives who live in Jackson County and organize the festival each year.


TYNER, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) — The 24th Annual Stringbean Memorial Bluegrass Festival will be held through Saturday, June 19 at Stringbean Memorial Park at 1410 Oak Grove Church Road in Tyner, Ky., between McKee and Manchester in Jackson County.
Celebrating its 24th event in 2021, the festival honors Jackson County native and beloved Grand Ole Opry star David ‘Stringbean’ Akemon.
His unique stage attire, traditional claw hammer banjo style, and entertaining stage banter endeared him to fans around the world. ‘The Kentucky Wonder’ was best known for his musical comedic performances on the hallowed stage of the Grand Ole Opry beginning in the 1940’s. and on the television series “Hee Haw” until his tragic death in 1973.
The festival is always held during the week of Stringbean Akemon’s birthday, and this year’s event kicks off on his birthday, June 17.
It is held in Stringbean Memorial Park at 1410 Oak Grove Church Rd.
Headliners for 2021 include Hall of Famer Larry Sparks & the Lonesome Ramblers on Saturday, with Shawn Lane & Richard Bennett (of Blue Highway and JD Crowe & the New South) on Friday, and Ralph Stanley II & the Clinch Mountain Boys on Thursday.  Thursday’s line-up also includes Blue Note, Custom Made Bluegrass, and Gary Strong & Hard Times.  Friday features local favorites Laurel River Line, along with Black Powder Express, and the great-nephew of Grandpa Jones, Phillip Steinmetz & His Sunny Tennesseans.  Saturday’s line-up includes the Sparrow Hawks, Anglin Brothers Bluegrass, Phillip Akemon & Flatlick, Felix Brock & Gospel Harmony, Sunrise Ridge, and Alex Leach.
An Open Stage will also be offered for those who wish to sing at the beginning of each day’s set schedule.
Tickets are available at StringbeanPark.com, with Single Day tickets only $20 per day, or a Big 3-Day Pass for $60.   Kids 12 and under are admitted free with a paid adult.  Camping with water and electric is also available at $25 per day at StringbeanPark.com.  Primitive Camping is free with a festival ticket.   Tickets and camping may also be purchased at the gate with cash only.   Concessions and Kentucky Arts & Crafts will also be on site.
With a rich history and beautiful locale at Stringbean Memorial Park, the festival is hosted by Stringbean Akemon’s nephew Phillip Akemon and his family. The Akemon family and their artists look forward to welcoming everyone to Stringbean Park this week!
For more info, go to StringbeanPark.com.

Daily set schedules:

Friday, June 18

2:30   Open Stage

3:40   Black Powder Express
4:30   Phillip Steinmetz & His Sunny Tennesseans
5:20   Laurel River Line
6:10   Shawn Lane & Richard Bennett
7:00   Black Powder Express
7:50   Phillip Steinmetz
8:40   Laurel River Line

9:30   Shawn Lane & Richard Bennett

Saturday, June 18
1:00    Open Stage
1:45    Sparrow Hawks
2:20    Felix Brock & Gospel Harmoney
3:10    Anglin Brothers Bluegrass
4:00    Sunrise Ridge
4:50    Phillip Akemon & Flatlick
5:40    Alex Leach
6:30    Sunrise Ridge
7:20    Phillip Akemon & Flatlick
8:10    Alex Leach

9:00    Larry Sparks & the Lonesome Ramblers


Attachments:  (4)
Photo:   2021 Stringbean Festival Flyer
Photo:   Ralph Stanley II will appear at Stringbean Park on Thursday, June 17.
Photo ~ High Res:   
Larry Sparks will appear at Stringbean Park on Saturday, June 19.
Photo:   Grandpa Jones’ great-nephew Phillip Steinmetz will appear at Stringbean Park on Friday, June 18.

Sherri George