WESTFIELD — Saturday evening music again traveled through the little valley that’s home to the Annual Nunn Brothers Bluegrass Festival for a 16th consecutive year. Twin brothers and musicians Alden and Arnold Nunn served as hosts at their namesake park (which was once a tobacco field) in Woodville where they grew up.
Arnold Nunn said he pays particular attention to not letting the music get too loud and recalled how many in the area take advantage of the cool evenings to sit on their front porches and enjoy the sounds of old time music and bluegrass music.
“This has always been a family friendly event,” said Arnold Nunn, who said he particularly enjoys seeing the tradition continue through young musicians. “I try to show off the young people’s talents. I love to seem them start out like I did and see them continue on.”
Emcee Tim Frye of Radio Station WPAQ said Friday night’s crowd was one of the largest he has seen at the festival for a while. He agreed that he enjoys the low-key, family atmosphere.
“This is a good place to bring the family,” Frye said. “The park is clean and nice. The boys (the Nunn brothers) work so hard to get this place neat as a pin.”
Arnold agreed that it takes a lot of work to get everything ready for their yearly celebration — an estimated two months. He said they became interested in staging a festival after large fiddler’s conventions in Westfield died out. The stage itself is the front of an old tobacco barn where the brothers can tell you stories about the boards still holding it up.
Alden Nunn agreed the festival has always been open to families but said it began with a strong focus on bluegrass music.
“Everyone has seemed to enjoy coming here,” said Alden Nunn. “The weather this year has been great. We’re glad for that.” He explained he enjoys hearing from festival goers who come and later tell him the music there has touched their hearts and that while they didn’t like bluegrass before they now like it, especially after they have heard him play his fiddle.
Alden Nunn said he began playing fiddle when he was 8 and has played for 41 years. The two learned from their father, the late Clarence Olin Nunn, who played by ear and learned from his father. He said parking has been added this year to accommodate horses and riders and their first ride on Saturday morning had more than 40 horses and riders participate.
David Broyles may be reached at 336-415-4739 or on Twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.