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Event Information

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Friday, October 6, 2023


6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Doors Open at 5:00 p.m.


Nana-Mac Meadows

965 Stony Ridge Road, Pinnacle, NC


BBQ for Books with a Side of Bluegrass, an event hosted by Stokes Partnership for Children, is a fundraiser to benefit early literacy programs in Stokes County. This year the event will be held on Friday, October 6, 2023, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., with doors opening at 5:00 p.m., and will be held at Nana Mac Meadows in Pinnacle, NC. Our musical line-up features Darren Nicholson, Mark Pruett, Audie Blaylock, and Reed Jones who will be bringing you an Evening of Bluegrass.


You can look forward to great food, our “World Famous” silent auction, all the games, and the tremendous fun that has put this event on the map. All proceeds from BBQ for Books with a Side of Bluegrass are used to purchase new books and to fund early literacy programs for the 2,500 young children in Stokes County. Did you know strong early reading skills form the basis for learning in all subjects? Your donation will help to support early literacy programs such as Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Reach Out and Read, the Child Care Resource and Referral Library, and books that are given away at multiple community events throughout the year. With proceeds from past BBQ for Books, we are working to install a professional Book Walk exhibit at King Central Park to be open sometime the spring of 2023. We are optimistically looking forward to branching out to other parks in the future! If that is not enough, we have opened a new Little Free Library in our office parking lot! Come by and take a book and leave a book.

Food will be served from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and features BBQ by Dennis Ruff. Ticket price includes the meal and entertainment. Advance purchase is strongly recommended. Follow us on Facebook and this page regarding ticket information and as information is updated.

About the Music

Darren Nicholson is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He is also a Grammy nominee, recipient of multiple International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, and founding member of Balsam Range - alongside banjoist Marc Pruett. Pruett is a Grammy award winner, and received an honorary Doctorate of Arts from Western Carolina University in 2010 in recognition of his many achievements as a professional musician.

Audie Blaylock is an American singer, guitarist, mandolinist, and composer in the bluegrass tradition. His music has been featured as the theme song for Travel Channel’s series Backroads Gold, and he is also a Grammy nominee and multiple IBMA Award winner. In addition to touring internationally as bassist with Blaylock’s group, Audie Blaylock and Redline, Reed Jones is a photographer, musical preservationist, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and an accomplished writer and songwriter.

So, what happens when you put the four of them together? Audiences in Stokes County, North Carolina will have a rare chance to hear this top-tier ensemble as they perform at BBQ for Books with a Side of Bluegrass.

“Audie, Reed, and Marc play a very rare kind of bluegrass that I like to refer to as ‘next level’ or ‘otherworldly,’” Nicholson enthuses. “When it comes to this kind of tradition and drive, there aren’t words to describe the excitement and intensity these shows will bring!” A one-off show at the Meadowlark Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in Maggie Valley brought these four musicians together in 2021. “It was the first time we had played together in a long time,” says Blaylock. “It was so good to play with these great musicians and singers. Marc Pruett has always been a favorite banjo player of mine!”

These four artists knew they wanted to continue performing together when their touring schedules allowed. “We are excited to play some shows and just have fun,” says Blaylock. “That’s what this is all about for us. We hope everyone will come out and have fun with us!”

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