Mineral Bluegrass Festival loses longtime sponsor

Posted on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 9:00 am

Two years ago, the Mineral Bluegrass Festival dodged a bullet when Shifflett Family Entertainment took over as the event’s promoter after longtime head Jimmie Dodd stepped down.

On Tuesday, August 19 the festival avoided yet another pitfall that could have led to the event’s demise. Mineral officials met with Shifflett Family Entertainment and agreed to a deal that will keep the festival in Mineral despite the Mineral Volunteer Fire Department’s decision to no longer serve as co-sponsors of the event.

“We’ve still got some details to sort through, but the town was really all for keeping it going,” George Shifflett, president of Shifflett Family Entertainment said after a meeting with Mineral’s economic development committee members Bernice Wilson-Kube and Michael Warlick.

The event’s future in Mineral had been in limbo for the past few weeks.  The MVFD voted to discontinue serving as co-sponsors in 2015 after a more than 25-year partnership with the event. According to MVFD president Edwin Keller, it was an unavoidable option.

“We just didn’t have the manpower to do it anymore, unfortunately,” Keller said. “The manpower wasn’t there like it used to be.”

In terms of responsibilities, the MVFD was responsible for parking and trash cleanup. While the department used to operate with anywhere from 25 to 40 volunteers in previous years, Shifflett said that only a dozen volunteers were available to help with the 2014 festival, which wrapped up it’s 31st edition on July 19.

“It created a much bigger burden,” Shifflett said.

To read the entire story, see the Aug. 28 edition of The Central Virginian.

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