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How exciting! After a five-year hiatus, the Big Tree Music and Art Festival is back!

This year’s festival will be held on Saturday, June 10 at the Port Royal Lions’ Club Park, located off of Rt. 333 in Port Royal.

Featuring 12 bands over 12 hours, the festival kicks off at 11am, and runs throughout the afternoon and evening, until 11pm. There are also children’s activities throughout the afternoon, as well as food vendors, and several craft vendors for your shopping enjoyment.

Advance tickets are available online for a discounted price of $15; advance sales close Friday, June 9. Tickets at the gate are $20. Proceeds from the ticket sales go directly to the bands performing that day. You can purchase your tickets online at https:// bigtree2023.brownpapertickets.com. Children 12 and under are free.

This year’s festival line-up features returning favorites, new faces, and old faces with new names. The day starts off with Bhajans at 11am, followed by Tom Yoder at noon, and fan- favorite Conrad Fisher taking the stage at 1pm. The afternoon continues with the duo of Carli Walters and Rowe Shepps at 2pm, followed by Chris Rattie and the New Rebels, Ryze, Seth Whitesel, and Rotten Belly Blues. Pishima takes the stage at 7pm, with poetry and spoken word at 7:30pm. The evening rounds out with Friction taking the stage at 8pm, followed by The Digs. Finishing out the festival will be Ma’am at 10pm.
“We are so excited to finally bring the festival back after a 5 year hiatus,” said Erica Shellenberger, Big Tree Music and Art Foundation president. “I love that there are so many talented musicians in Juniata and Mifflin counties, that we can fill the festival lineup with all local talent.”

Pack your lawn chair or blanket, and hang out under the trees for a fun-filled day of music, art, friends, and community. Outside food and drink is permitted; no glass bottles are allowed.

Any shade structures that obstruct the view of the stage are prohibited.

Volunteers are also needed the day of the event to help with tickets, parking, children’s activities, merchandise, and security, just to name a few. Volunteers will also be needed to help with set-up on Friday, and event tear-down on Sunday. All volunteers working a minimum two- hour shift get in free all day to the festival. To sign up to become a festival volunteer, go to the Big Tree website at bigtreemusicandart.com, and click on the volunteers link.

Big Tree sprang from a 2009 “friends and family” musical event in the yard of founders Nick and Katy Holol, under a giant sycamore tree — the eponymous big tree. Over the years, it has since expanded to include art displays and children’s activities. The festival moved to the Port Royal Lions Club in 2014 to accommodate the expansion, this time including craft and food vendors. But the main focus of Big Tree has always been to highlight the diverse musical and artistic talent in Juniata County, and the rest of the Juniata River Valley.

“We are committed to helping promote all of the amazing talent in our own backyard,” Shellenberger said.
For more information on the festival and the day’s activities, you can follow Big Tree on Facebook and Instagram, as well as the website, bigtreemusicandart.com.