Surely this weekend features some highfalutin soirees — but dang if we can find them, other than one that can go up real high. Naw, this weekend’s lineup style was determined as soon as we saw “Hee Haw.”
Minnie Pearl suggested back roads instead of highways, but we bet she wouldn’t care how you get to the Sixth Annual Bluegrass Shack Hee Haw Show and Jamboree in New Athens on Saturday. Ask her doppelganger Corrina Logston once you get there. “Her real personality is so close to Minnie Pearl’s, she’s fantastic,” said Chris Talley Armstrong.
The two-hour Hee Haw will have skits and songs and entertainment likely to surprise even the performers, says Talley Armstrong. The co-owner of the Bluegrass Shack said the show is a great chance for Hee Haw and bluegrass performers to meet, but the real treat is for the 300-plus folks in the seats.
Each act does its own rehearsal, and the organizers “always hijack an act every year... we do something funny to their act that they don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said. Once, the man playing Johnny Cash had not seen June Carter Cash in costume — and was surprised to see a bearded male appear as June.
“I know the original did some skits that some considered risque, but we don’t have anything like that,” Talley Armstrong said. “I think most kids would enjoy it.”
After the two-hour Hee Haw show from 3 to 5 p.m., seven bluegrass bands will take the stage from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., closing with The Harmans, of Shipman. Go to www.facebook.com/bgsheehaw/timeline for a complete lineup and pictures of previous acts.
Tickets are $15, children and seniors are $10, children 12 and under are free at the Bull Pen at 101 N. Van Buren in New Athens. Call 618-475-3678 for more information.
Let me in
Wolves are quite welcome at the annual Jim Knapp Memorial Little Pig Cookoff on Saturday at Beckemeyer Community Development Club Park. Opening ceremonies start at 3 p.m., with live music and kids activities following. The People’s Choice sampling costs $10 — and includes a cupcake! — with the winners announced at 7:30 p.m.
Freeburg’s 88th Homecoming is this weekend, with all the carnival rides, food, games and raffles you can stand. Rides start at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Freeburg Recreation Park, with the parade at 5:30 p.m. and truck pull at 6:30 p.m. Music by Turnpike Cruiser kicks off at 8 p.m.
Flash vs. Kahagas
Saturday night’s all right for, er, rasslin’. Flash Flanagan — billed at 6’2”, 235 pounds — defends his Strong Island Championship Wresting championship title against Kahagas, 5’11,” 205 pounds, and called the “Tokyo Monster” at the East Carondelet Community Center, 1418 State St. There are seven other matches, all starting at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $11 and $6 for children under 12; proceeds benefit the Community Center. Call 618-286-4848 or go to www.sicw.org for more information.
Balloons, booms and bands
Centralia’s skies are home to 40 hot air balloons this weekend, and the grounds at Foundation Park in Centralia will be landing space for balloon glows, tethered balloon rides, and later bands and fireworks complete with earth-shaking ka-booms. The U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America takes the stage Saturday night, but before that there will be a craft fair, free children’s activities, cardboard boat races and more. Go to www.balloon-fest.com for more information, including a balloon-basket full of sponsors.
Do you know something reporter Mary Cooley doesn’t? We bet you do — starting with your plans for next weekend. Share them with her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2535. Follow her on Twitter: @MaryCooleyBND.