Patsy Cline festival expands with new events
Patsy Cline fans attending this week’s Patsy Cline Music Festival will get further acquainted with Winchester’s favorite celebrity and enjoy entertainment, dancing and plenty of music in honor of the singer’s birthday on Sept. 8.
Sponsored by the city of Winchester, the festival events will be held at various sites around the city to give those visiting from out of town a taste of the city’s best. The Always Patsy Cline fan club, headed by Patsy’s husband Charlie Dick and daughter Julie Fudge, will join up for some of the events.
Since opening the Patsy Cline Historic House to the public in 2011, the Celebrating Patsy Cline nonprofit group has expanded the festivities honoring Cline to include a block party, the Rockin’ in the Park concert and a number of new events this year. Judy Sue Huyett-Kempf, executive director of the house, said although it’s an important landmark to build appreciation for Patsy from, she’s enthusiastic about the festival including more sites.
“She participated all over the area, and now that we have the home base established we can start reaching out,” she said.
Frances Lowe, a Celebrating Patsy Cline board member on the festival committee, said the singers and bands performing at the events echo Cline’s style and sound to pay tribute to the star for old fans and give those unfamiliar with her work a taste of what it was like.
“It’s going to be a lot of roaring hits from that era…and a lot of dancing,” she said.
Winchester’s Handley Library will screen the hour-long biographical documentary “Patsy Cline, Remembering Patsy” for free at 6 p.m. Wednesday to give in-depth insight into Cline’s life.
Apple Blossom Mall will host a free kickoff event with the band Fleming, Fleming and Peterson performing and various activities from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday.
Patsy Cline Sing-A-Song contest winner Maria Price will sing before and after the film screening and at the mall event. Having taken a page out of Cline’s book with her singing, Price said she’s honored to join the festival in tribute.
“I think it’s a wonderful way to get the message out there to keep her memory alive,” she said.
Attendees can take advantage of $5 reduced ticket prices to tour the Patsy Cline Historic house as part of a free block party in the area from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Performances there will include the Pennsylvania-based Evans Sisters and tribute singer Liz Ruffner covering some of Cline’s classics.
The Robbie Limon Band will perform for a rock ‘n roll dance at the Best Western Lee-Jackson Inn from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15 for individuals and $25 for couples and will be sold at the door.
To wrap up the festival, Jim Barnett Park’s Bridgeforth Field will hold the Rockin’ in the Park Concert from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, preceded by a car show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Texas Chainsaw Horns will open for featured bands The Original Drifters and Bill Haley’s Comets. General admission is $22 and reserved seats are $30.
Through the learning opportunities and music celebrating the singer’s work, Lowe said the festival is an accessible opportunity to enjoy some fun events honoring Patsy Cline.
“It’s bringing her back to life, sort of,” she said. “She’s loved and known throughout the world.”
Learn more about the nonprofit and the historic house at http://celebratingpatsycline.org/.
Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or firstname.lastname@example.org