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Bluegrass festival held

The inaugural STEPS Inc. Bluegrass Festival kicked off Saturday afternoon at Southside Electric Company’s Hooper Park in Crewe to an enthusiastic crowd.

(To see more photos from the festival, click here.)

Organizers promised a great band lineup and they did not disappoint. The lineup, included The Walt and Agnor Band, Karlie Keepfer and the Smokey Holler, Back 40 Drive, Jeff Little Trio and headlining the event The Church Sisters.

If Agnor in The Walt and Agnor Band rings a bell, it’s not surprising as Agnor is none other than STEPS Inc.’s own Vice President of Finance Matthew Agnor. According to the STEPS Facebook page, “The Walt and Agnor Band is a polyethnic slamgrass band that was formed in the Heart of Virginia. Walter Culbertson and Matthew Agnor met at Longwood University where they both attended school. Walt’s jam band playing style melds together with Matt’s country bluegrass roots to form a truly unique sound and experience. Walt learned how to play guitar at a young age and has played in shows all-around the world, including Japan. Matt began singing country music onstage at the early age of 3 years old. He has played shows all over the U.S. from Jacksonville, Florida; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Gardner, Montana and here in Virginia.”

Along with great toe-tapping music, attendees enjoyed food from area vendors such as Bojangles, Cotton’s Kitchen LLC, Waldy’s Ice Cream, Wooded’s and Summer’s Shaved Ice.

Unique craft items were also for sale at the many vendors lined up along side the pavilion. Here just a few items of interest were hand-turned wood bowls created by Alton Daniel of Green Wood Turning, lovely water color paintings by Bonnie Daniel, and a delicious lavender and honey tea at Ms. Bee’s All Natural Remedies — which turned out to be a crowd favorite.

Children had a great time visiting with Pacman the alpaca at the petting zoo set up adjacent to Hooper Park. Teresa Kocout, of Laughing Place Farms, took care of the animals and provided food pellets for those wanting to feed the animals. Squeals of laughter rang out as little ones fed Pacman and a handful of goats.

In an email Agnor shared, “For over 35 years, STEPS has remained determined to provide opportunities to ‘move lives forward.’ Our expanded services include workforce development, providing services to assist individuals with barriers to employment find jobs; educational services that touch over 200 children each year in our Head Start/Early Head Start services; and housing assistance for those finding themselves homeless, at risk of becoming homeless or in need of assistance to pay their heating/cooling bills.”