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Hops and Harvest festival this weekend at Pocahontas State Park

Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-02 18:26:12-04

Despite the current government blues, festival headliners Blues Traveler will take to the stage Saturday, performing with several other bands at the second annual Hops & Harvest Festival.  

The festival starts at noon on Saturday October 5 at Pocahontas State Park, which is located at 10301 State Park Road in Chesterfield.

“The most important message that we can get out there is that the show will go on,” Chris Gowin, executive director of the Virginia Museum of Radio Entertainment, said.

Organizers say they have fielded a lot of concerned calls about the festival, as Americans are slogging through the myriad of closures thanks to the federal government–which includes national parks–but the key piece of information in this scenario is within the venue name itself, Pocahontas STATE Park.

Not only can festival-goers look forward to forecasted beautiful weather, they can count on plenty of beer, food and music.

Tickets are $16.50 in advance, or $20 at the door.  To enter and park at the venue is $5 a vehicle.

From there, the only costs depend  on what and how much you consume. Tickets will be sold for beer tastings; a $1 ticket buys a three-ounce taste and $5 buys a full serving.  Ten different breweries will provide a total of 20 different varieties of beer, including pumpkin and seasonal brews.

The brewery lineup includes Starr Hill Brewing Company, Devils Backbone BrewingCompanyCenter of the Universe Brewing, Bold Rock Hard Cider, Hardywood, Midnight BreweryO’Connor Brewing Co.Legend Brewing Co, & STRANGEWAYS BREWING.

The music lineup starts jamming at 1 p.m. and in order of performance includes Cosby, Dallas Wesley, Paul Plummeri Blues band, Donna the Buffalo and Blues Traveler.

Blues Traveler released their first album in 1990 and went on to enjoy mainstream success. The band, known for its jam-band formats, in 1992 started the H.O.R.D.E. festival, which ran for seven successful years. Dave Letterman once called them his favorite band and they’ve opened for the Rolling Stones.  The group has released 11 studio albums in their career, with the last in 2012.

Food trucks will be on site, though a complete list of vendors is not confirmed. Gowin said Papa Johns, Gregory’s Grill and Boka Truck will be there and that other trucks are in discussion to attend.

Last year around 1,500 people showed up, and this year organizer Ed Sitez hopes to pull in a crowd of 2,000.

“I have a feeling it might have hurt sales a little bit,” Sitez said, referring to the federal government shutdown. A quick look at the event Facebook page shows that people are certainly concerned the state park has felt the effects of the nation’s partisan squabble (here is your chance to forget about it for the day).

Tickets can be purchased in advance at, Brock’s BBQ, Capital Ale House, and the Pocahontas State Park office. The event runs from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday.

1:00 – 2:00 – Cosby
2:30 – 3:30 – Dallas Wesley
4:00 – 5:00 – Paul Plummeri Blues Band
5:30 – 7:30 – Donna the Buffalo
8:00 – 10:00 – Blues Traveler

For those who want to camp, more info is available on the Virginia State Parks website.