• Bill Raines

Music Will Help Celebrate 75 Years of Persimmon Festival Traditions

MITCHELL - AUGUST 24, 2022 -To celebrate “75 Years of Persimmon Traditions,” the Persimmon Festival will hearken back to its humble 1947 beginnings and the decades that followed by bringing a wide variety of free musical entertainment to the Mitchell community and its visitors.


“To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Persimmon Festival, we have opted to ‘up the ante’ when it comes to our entertainment options,” said the 75th Persimmon Festival planning committee of Mark Bryant, Don Caudell II, Larry Caudell, Tonya Chastain and Krystal Shetler. “Not only are we bringing back Persimmon Festival favorites, such as The Endless Summer Band on Friday night and retaining our tradition of gospel music on Wednesday night, but we’ve added high quality acts that represent just about every musical genre imaginable.”


The Glenn Miller Orchestra


New this year, the Persimmon Festival entertainment lineup will begin on Sunday afternoon with the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra at 3 p.m. Sept. 18 in the Mitchell High School Auditorium.


With its unique jazz sound, the Glenn Miller Orchestra brings timeless classics, such as “In the Mood,” “Moonlight Serenade,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” “String of Pearls,” and “Tuxedo Junction,” to 2022 listeners. Glenn Miller was the most successful of all the dance bandleaders back in the swing era of the 1930s and 1940s. Eighty years after founding his famous orchestra, Glenn Miller’s music is alive and well.


The present Glenn Miller Orchestra was formed in 1956 and has toured consistently since, playing an average of 300 live dates a year all around the world. More than 18 musicians and singers bring the unforgettable Glenn Miller sound and songs that everyone remembers. It’s a show that can’t be missed for jazz and swing fans or incurable romantics who want to take a step back in time.



Rockland Road


Rockland Road is another new act joining the 75th annual Persimmon Festival.

Rockland Road, which will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, on the Main Street Stage, consists of six talented musicians who share the same last name: Martin.

Rockland Road represents four generations of musical heritage. All six band members are vocalists who, together, can play 23 different instruments. The powerhouse group features soulful vocals imbued with pure, exuberant joy that is worthy of the talented blood that flows through this family’s veins, stemming from Grammy-winning lead singer, Paul Martin, who led the band, Exile. Also known as Apostle Paul in the Marty Stuart Show, he is married to Jamie, who is the daughter of Duane Allen, the lead singer of the legendary Oak Ridge Boys.

Rockland Road has been pitched songs from some of the top songwriters in Nashville, Tenn. One song, in particular, titled, “Mountains Up Ahead,” was brought to the band by their producer, Greg Bieck, and band members felt an immediate connection to it and knew they had to record it. Rockland Road has infused the uplifting song with its six-part harmony, breathing life into the tune penned by Nashville songwriting giant, Marcus Hummon. It was released as Rockland Road’s third single in February.


Rockland Road sees every night that it spends onstage as a chance to spread the joy they get from music and to share their inspiring story. Every night is an opportunity to take a new audience on a musical experience they won’t soon forget.



45 RPM


45 RPM is sure to be a new hit with Persimmon Festival attendees when it takes the Main Street Stage at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22.

The band, which the committee discovered during a trip to Indianapolis for the annual Indiana Fairs & Festivals Convention, pays tribute to the hits of days when the British Invasion took over the airwaves. The band will take its audience on a magical journey back to the era of music that changed rock history by recreating the look, feel and music that defined the mid-1960s.

45 RPM faithfully reproduces a wide variety of the timeless Top 10 hits of the period as closely to possible to the original recordings, creating a virtual, musical time machine for its audience. The band wears matching, period clothing and plays authentic instruments. All of that together creates a memorable, distinctive brand that sets them apart.



The Indigos

The Indigos are back at the Persimmon Festival to bring their funk rock band to the Main Street Stage at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22.


The Indigos are a high-energy band that consists of five to 10 vocalists and instrumentalists, including a horn player, guitarists, rhythm section and keytar. Taking its influences from a variety of artists over many different genres, the Indigos have toured from coast to coast and performed with more than four dozen different artists.


They like to refer to their genre of music as “Indigroove” because of its groovy roots that they’ve meshed with rock ‘n’ roll influences. The band features a depth of diversity with its musicians while keeping its central focus on creating a unique brand of music that allows its fans to “get in the groove.”



The Endless Summer Band


ESB is back, Persimmon Festival fans, in their 28th year of being one of the nation’s most in-demand entertainment bands, performing more than 120 shows a year, including their annual Friday night performance in downtown Mitchell.

The Endless Summer Band is set to take the stage at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23, in a rocking show that brings classic smash hits to life with fantastic costumes, fun dance moves, audience interactions and great voices. The high-energy show is a Persimmon Festival favorite as the musicians play everything from classic rock, blues, soul and country to pop and the music industry’s biggest hits. You won’t want to miss this crazy, fun show!



Indy Annies


New this year is the band known as the Indy Annies. The festival committee also found this female-driven country band from Central Indiana at the Indiana Fairs & Festivals Convention where the five-piece group blew away audiences.

Indy Annies will help wrap up a week of festival fun with a show beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, on the Main Street Stage. Whether you’re a fan of classic, modern, outlaw or 1990s country, these Hoosiers have got it covered with a variety of cover tunes from Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton to Carrie Underwood and Kacey Musgraves.




Gospel favorites


Wednesday’s annual gospel night will feature the musical talents of Worth the Journey and the Open Heart Quartet. Worth the Journey will kick off the night with its music at 6 p.m., followed by Open Heart at 8 p.m.


Worth the Journey


Worth the Journey combines the groups, The Breeding Family and Heavenly Treasures, and performs Southern gospel, bluegrass and contemporary gospel music. It features the talents of David Napper, Mike Napper, Micah Napper, Mason Napper, Amy Breeding and Hannah Breeding. They pray their music touches the hearts and lives of those who hear it and that God uses them for His glory.

Open Heart features Mike Atchison, Chris Begarly, Gary Craig and Jerry Tinkle. The quartet brings decades of musical expertise and the gospel of Jesus Christ to the stage. Atchison began with the Sonshiners, then the Soul Searchers. Begarly was in the Soul Searchers, then the Crossroad Quartet. Craig is the choir director at Dive Christian Church, and Tinkle is from Converse, Indiana, and has performed with a variety of groups, including the Ministers Quartet.


Open Heart Quartet


The foursome hopes that by proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ through song, they can lift up others and draw them into the Lord.


More fan favorites


Additional performances at the Persimmon Festival will include the following:

The OCD Band: A four-piece local band that performs some of the best rock cover songs you’ve ever heard, the OCD Band will open for The Endless Summer Band on Friday night beginning at 6 p.m. Look for hits from Cheap Trick, Queen, Poison, Matchbox 20, Eric Church, Bon Jovi, Keith Urban and more when OCD takes the stage.


The Bloomington Jazz Orchestra: Formerly The Swing Time Big Band, the Bloomington Jazz Orchestra is an 18-piece jazz group comprised of some of the most passionate jazz musicians in south-central Indiana. The group will perform at 11 a.m. Saturday.


Cody Ikerd and the Sidewinders: A local favorite, Cody Ikerd and the Sidewinders will wrap up this year’s Persimmon Festival with a performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. Ikerd and his band of talented musicians have played throughout the Midwest, opening for several national artists, including Kid Rock, Hank Williams Jr., the Kentucky Headhunters, Drake White and more. The group plays original music, as well as cover favorites, focusing on country music’s classic sound.

All entertainment is free, and the public is encouraged to attend. All events, except for the Glenn Miller Orchestra, will take place at the Main Street Stage. However, in the event of rain, the shows will be moved to the Mitchell High School Auditorium.


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