Two full days of entertainment set for upcoming 2019 Pioneer Festival

Lizzie eHoff and her Cough are among the musical acts to perform at the 44th annual Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival. The group will play on Sunday, Sept. 29, at 1 p.m. on the festival stage.
Lizzie eHoff and her Cough are among the musical acts to perform at the 44th annual Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival. The group will play on Sunday, Sept. 29, at 1 p.m. on the festival stage. Photo provided.

Two full days of entertainment will be featured on stage at this year’s Forks of the Wabash Pioneer Festival Sept. 28 and 29, with performers reflecting both the folk music popular during the country’s early days and the newer sounds of the pioneering spirits of today.

New to the festival this year is Whoa, Man!, a family friendly celebration of the top female names in rock. Sunny Taylor, Eliza Toth, Teresa Lyon, Nevera Keesler, Alicia Pyle and Pete Jacobs provide the vocals for the group, also joining with Mike Grant and Gary Toth for the instrumentation. They perform the music of Pat Benatar, Heart, Janis Joplin, Carole King, Sheryl Crow, Blondie, Joan Jett, Linda Ronstadt and more — the women of rock who influenced generations. Their festival show is Sunday at 4 p.m.

Taylor is also featured in her own show, one of 14 performances that include offerings by JennyLane, magician Jim Barron, Ivory West, dulcimer players Bob Hart and Dan Daniels, Marty Miles, the Rust Belt Drifters, Lizzie eHoff and her Cough and the Roanoke Rounders.

JennyLane consists of Jennifer and Lane Laffoon, who have been performing for more than 30 years. They use their many talents to explore America’s rich cultural and musical diversity. JennyLane is on stage both Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m.

Magician Jim Barron, with shows both Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m., is a professional entertainer as well as a morning radio personality on the WBCL radio network.

Sunny Taylor, a folk-rock artist from Fort Wayne, brings her music Saturday at noon. She’s followed by the acoustic easy listening and folk pop sounds of Ivory West at 1:30 p.m.

Dulcimer artist Bob Hart, a frequent guest at Pioneer Festival, performs Saturday at 3 p.m.

Marty Miles brings his folk-rock originals, along with acoustic interpretations of favorites from other artists, to the festival stage Saturday at 4 p.m.

The Rust Belt Drifters — a local group made up of Jason Grossman, guitar and lead vocals; Jessica Grossman, bass and vocals; and Gracie Mae Grossman, fiddle — will bring their bluegrass sound to the stage on Saturday at 5 p.m. and again on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Another dulcimer player, Dan Daniels, presents his music and stories Sunday at noon.


Lizzie eHoff and her Cough, who previously performed at the festival as members of Clusterfolk, have a neo-folk and alternative folk sound, which they’ll show off Sunday at 1 p.m.


The Roanoke Rounders, a perennial local favorite, will perform bluegrass and old-time music Sunday at 2 p.m.

Festival hours are Saturday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a nondenominational worship service Sunday at 9 a.m., all at the Huntington County Fairgrounds and Hier’s Park in Huntington. Admission is charged, and free for children under 5. Parking is free.

For a complete festival schedule, visit www.pioneerfestival.org/downloadable_brochure.html.