By Katie Ingram
The sounds of country music will once again fill the South Shore Exhibition Grounds from Aug. 19 to 22 as the Annual Hank Snow Tribute returns for its 20th year.
In the early 1990’s a group of Hank Snow fans, the Friends of Hank Society, were looking to acquire the old Liverpool CN railway station as a museum for the singer.
“A group of Hank Snow fans, I think there were 17, met in the schoolhouse in Brooklyn with the idea of putting together a museum to honour Hank Snow,” said Friends of Hank Snow Society Board of Directors member and Chairman of the Collections Committee Graham Baker. “As a second idea, we wanted a forum where people who like Hank’s style of music, classic country, could perform and have an arena for their particular interests.”
The group decided that they would hold a tribute to Hank Snow on Summerville Beach on the afternoon of Aug. 21, 1991. With a beach barbeque, potluck and a variety of classic country music performers, the event proved to be a prosperous and popular idea. Although the day’s entertainment was free, the society raised money through draws and raffles.
“The first one organized at Summerville really had quite an amount of people who showed up, a couple thousand,” said Baker.
Following a successful first year, the tribute moved to the Queens County Fair Grounds in Caledonia where it remained for four years. Eventually the festival even outgrew that space, and moved to the Bridgewater’s South Shore Exhibition Grounds in 1995.
This year’s festival will continue this tradition with over 200 musicians performing. The event is once again being held in Bridgewater and is featuring both longtime favorites and new performers. Acts include David Burbine and Traditional County, Melinda Naugler, Brandon Foster, Dale Verge and Doin’ Country, Rough Edges, Bradford Bruce, Chet Brown, Michelle Colp and Low Key and Kayton Roberts and Roger Carroll, the last remaining members of Snow’s band, The Rainbow Ranch Boys.
As a special event this year, the tribute will be holding a one-time fiddling and bluegrass night on Thursday. The evening will feature performances from The Fiddling Laundry’s Matt Lunn and Graham Moorehead, Close to Home and the Mark Boutlier Band.
“It’s got more of a bluegrass theme to it [the Thursday night show] for something different,” said the Hank Snow Hometown Museum’s Program coordinator, Kelly Inglis as the tribute’s program usually features mostly classic country music.
Friday and Saturday will return to the festival’s country roots, while Sunday begins with a gospel show and ends with the “Big Jam,” where musicians are invited up on stage to perform with The Rainbow Ranch Boys.
Annual events include the Sounds Like Hank and Guitar Picking Contests, Joyce Seamone’s Songwriter’s Circle, Open Mic on Friday and Best Dressed Individual and Group for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Booths include The “Answer Man” James Dean, Hank’s Saddle Display and the Hank Snow Gift Shop.
The Hank Snow Tribute is put on by the Friends of Hank Snow Society, a registered charity. Most of proceeds will go to support the Hank Snow Hometown Museum. Thursday night’s proceeds will benefit the Kids Help Phone. Over the years, the tribute has become a widely recognized country music festival with visitors and performers from all over the world including Carroll Baker and George Hamilton IV and visits from Hank’s son Jimmie Rodgers Snow and wife Minnie Snow.
20th Annual Hank Snow Tribute Prices
Camping and Entertainment (Thursday to Sunday) - $60 per person.
Early Bird Camping on Wednesday - $10
Electrical hookups (first come, first served basis) - $10 for the entire weekend
Individual Day Passes:
Thursday - $15
Friday - $15
Saturday $25 ($15 after 5 p.m)
For more information email the museum at
email@example.com or call 354- 4675