Bluegrass Returns to its Roots is planning a big April at Diamond Lake Resort, 7301 Hobbs Road.

The new company — owned by John Lampkin and Steve Chandler — is staging the Diamond Lake Gospel Jubilee on April 17 and the ninth annual Bluegrass Returns to its Roots festival there on April 23-24.

The bluegrass festival began at the Executive Inn Rivermont eight years ago and moved to the RiverPark Center last year.

“We’re trying a new location this year,” Jan Kinsey Lampkin, spokeswoman for the company, said Friday. “We’re giving it a family focus this year.”

The focus is also changing from national bluegrass acts to regional.
Lexington-based J.D. Crowe & The New South will headline the festival inside the 750-seat Diamond Lake Theatre.

Crowe is a member of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Fame.

Other acts include County Line Bluegrass, The Kings Highway, Randy Lanham & The Bluegrass AllStars and Barry Lanham & The Footstompin’  Express Cloggers.

Gene Lanham will be master of ceremonies and will perform as his alter ego, Elmo Skimmyhorn.

Workshops are planned in vocal harmony, clogging and various bluegrass instruments.

Lampkin said the festival is also emphasizing the attractions at the resort — camping, go-carts, paddle boats and fishing.

The festival will begin with an open mic on April 23. The bands perform on April 24.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children 6 to 12. Children 5 and under are admitted free with a paid adult.

A portion of the ticket sales will go to benefit the Big Rivers chapter of the American Red Cross.

They’re available at Diamond Lake Resort.

The Diamond Lake Gospel Jubilee will feature Jeff and Sheri Easter, The Crossmen, Paul Gatewood, the Gloryroad Travelers, Molly Troutman, the Glory Bound Singers, WE Three, the Revival Music Group and Deena Ashley, master of ceremonies.

Tickets are $13. Campers at the resort get a $2 discount. Children are admitted free.

A portion of the ticket price will benefit the Haiti Food Program missions ministry of Owensboro missionaries David and Judy Heady.

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