Hickory Fest to feature Grammy-nominated songwriter

WELLSBORO — The Aug. 15 kickoff for Hickory Fest 2018 promises to be a very special evening at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts, 104 Main Street.

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with a reception in the Deane Center lobby. Featured will be a special wine tasting by Mountain Lake Winery from Towanda and hors d’oeuvres by Brad Goodwin of the Red Skillet in Wellsboro.

At 7 p.m., Grammy-nominated Nashville songwriter Verlon Thompson will perform his Civil War operetta “Find Your Angel.” He was a close friend and musical collaborator with Sue Cunningham, co-founder and producer of Hickory Fest through 2014. Before her passing, Thompson and Cunningham had performed “Find Your Angel” twice on the Deane Center stage in Wellsboro as well as for audiences all around America.

“Find Your Angel” is a riveting musical portrait of a courageous young woman from Vicksburg, Mississippi and her life before, during, and after the Civil War. Travel back to the deep south of the mid 1800s as this privileged Southern belle’s perfect life suddenly collides with the Siege of Vicksburg. Thompson’s performance will delight history buffs and acoustic music lovers alike.

Opening for Thompson will be Wellsboro’s own Dan Shipe and Kenny Cox of Punta Gorda, Florida. Shipe performed with Cunningham for a long time until her death. Cox was a friend and musical collaborator with her in Florida.

“Danny will be performing as Dan Shipe & Friends at this year’s Hickory Fest being held on Aug. 17, 18 and 19 at Stony Fork Creek Campground and Kenny will be bringing his band Big Sky,” said Frank Serio, Hickory Fest producer.

“All proceeds from this event will go to support the new Sue Cunningham Music Scholarships at the Wellsboro High School and the Rock L. Butler Middle School,” Serio added.

“The mission of Little Hickory Productions is to continue the legacy of Sue Cunningham and continue to support the causes that were dear to her heart while sharing the music that she loved,” Serio said.

Tickets are at a fee and available by calling the Deane Center 570-724-6220 or online by visiting www.DeaneCenter.com.