Pickin’ to move this fall

MARTINSBURG — Barbecue and bluegrass festival Pickin’ in the Panhandle is moving to a new venue.

The long-running bluegrass and barbecue festival, which will be held on Sept. 6, 7 and 8, has agreed to partner with Inwood-based Shiley Acres, according to Matthew DeHaven, president of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are very excited about this year. We want to expand and grow.”

Pickin’ in the Panhandle is moving from remote Back Creek Valley closer to Martinsburg.

Pickin’ in the Panhandle is moving from remote Back Creek Valley closer to Martinsburg.

The festival had been held at the bucolic Lazy-A Campground in Back Creek Valley since its start in 2007. Shiley will place the three-day festival south of Martinsburg, much closer to busy Interstate 81.

Greg Shiley, owner of Shiley Acres, reopened the venue in 2012 after a two-decade hiatus. He said the CVB approached him a year ago about moving Pickin’ to his venue. “They are wanting to go in a new direction,” Shiley said. “We are going to take over the promotion and production of the music side of it.

“They have had great success in previous years and we are going to take that success and build on it.”

Pickin’ in the Pandhandle is held in conjunction with a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned competition, and the event has attracted thousands each September.

“This festival is a big deal in the barbecue world,” said Larry Hines, CVB vice president. “We try to get some of the best barbecue vendors there are.”

Some of the teams that have come to Pickin’ also have competed on TV’s “BBQ Pitmasters,” he said.

The bluegrass festival has hosted Charlie Daniels, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart and other nationally known acts. Area bands Patent Pending, Lonesome Highway from Hampshire County and Joe Taxi from Martinsburg are expected to play at Pickin’ this fall, along with the Davisson Brothers.

“We have a lot of offers out on some national talent,” Shiley said.

Shiley Acres also will continue as a rock venue, Shiley said. “We are not leaving our background, which is rock concerts,” he said. “Pickin’ is just going to join in and be another show on our regular schedule.”

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