Archive for Thursday, June 2, 2011

Final Cedar Depot Festival scheduled for Friday and Saturday

June 2, 2011


— For the price of a single 90-minute show in Branson, Mo., the Cedar Depot Festival Reunion is offering three days of country, western and gospel music entertainment.

And the traffic won't be nearly so bad after the event is over.

The 10th and final festival will be this weekend in the tiny Smith County community of Cedar.

Although the U.S. Census Bureau claims the community only has 14 residents, the Cedar City Council has come to the conclusion it actually has 17 residents, according to Lowell Lydic, coordinator of the festival and a member of the city council.

This weekend, the festival's 50 musicians will outnumber the community's residents, and concertgoers, numbering as high as 1,300 in years past, will dwarf the city.

It's going to be a bittersweet reunion for Lowell and Nan Lydic, who have been the primary coordinators of the event. Health problems forced them to decide this year's festival will be the last.

So far, Lowell Lydic said, the response for this year's event has been "wonderful."

"Everyone who has been here in the last 10 years wants to come back," he said.

In fact, some of the scheduled musicians already are in Cedar, and Lydic said there was a jam session Monday evening.

The idea for the festival came from Janet McBride. The Lydics traveled to Hastings to see her in concert and she came to stay with them a couple days.

She declared the city's central park would be a "wonderful place for a festival," Lydic said.

The festival does indeed use the Cedar park, which features a restored depot and wagon stage, but it also spills over into the Jim Lydic Memorial Park. The park is named after the Lydics' son, who at 17 died of alcohol poisoning.

This year's festival also will serve as a memorial to John Ingram, McBride's late husband.

In addition to music and concerts, the festival offers workshops -- at no charge -- for harmonica, fiddling, guitar, yodeling, song writing and beginning dobro, a type of guitar.

Two concerts are planned for Friday and Saturday evening, and they will take place in the Smith Center High School auditorium.

On Friday, Maggie Mae will perform while Saturday's concert will be Rollie Stevens and Call of the West. Tickets are extra for the concerts.

"We have so much going on, you're going to have a good time whether you want to or not," Lydic said.

Activities start at 7 p.m. Friday with the Maggie Mae concert.

Reserved front row seating is $20 with tickets dropping back to $10 for general seating.

Day passes are $12 and $30 for a three-day pass. Details about the concert are online at

Cedar is southwest of Smith Center on Kansas Highway 9.


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