Friday night concert returns for Ice Cream Social

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Fans of bluegrass and country music should expect to have a good time during the opening night of the 35th annual Ice Cream Social, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, July 30-31, in Berryville.

According to entertainment committee chair Tyler Squires, this year’s concert is both a callback to 2019 and a carryover from last year’s event, which was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re bringing back the Friday evening concert,” Squires said. “It’s something that we started in 2019 and we felt like was very successful. Everyone really enjoyed it.”

With that in mind, Squires said, two of the bands expected to perform are making return trips.

“Two of the groups coming back were there in 2019,” Squires said.

Topping the list will be Still on the Hill, a national and international touring group featuring husband-and-wife duo Donna and Kelly Mulhollan.

In 2019, they performed what Squires described as an “album performance” featuring material from their Cane Hill project, an album that attempted to relate some of the history of the historic northwest Arkansas town in relation to the Civil War, the Trail of Tears, the rise of the apple industry and other events.

This year, Squires said, the Mulhollans are expected to put on a different show, one exhibiting their skills on multiple old-style instruments, many created by Ed Stilley of Hogscald Holler.

Stilley, a farmer, singer and sometime preacher, made a name for himself in the Ozarks by creating hundreds of instruments from wood scraps and found objects, giving many to children.

Also on the bill for Friday’s concert will be Spillwater Drive, a regional contemporary bluegrass quartet featuring Adam Ash of Gateway on banjo, Samuel Cobb of Rogers on mandolin, Gary Cook of Monett, Mo., on bass, and Jake Stogdill of Washburn, Mo., on guitar. All four share singing duties.

“The final group that we’ll have will be The Ford Mountain Gang,” Squires said. “They’re a little more amplified. I think it will be a little bit of a different experience. They have some ties to Carroll County. Wes Hutchinson plays bass for them, Randy Franz plays guitar, and then they also have ties to The Petersens — one of them is a Petersen — and several of them play with the Petersen family up in Branson.”

Friday’s concert is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. on the downtown square.

Also on Friday’s schedule will be the annual Miss Royal Scoop pageant.

The all-ages pageant, which will be held at the Community Center beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, July 30, is being planned by co-directors Ann Dee Wingate and Kandra Ness.

Those interested in competing may visit the pageant’s Facebook page by searching “icspageant” and find more information. Electronic registration forms are also available and may be obtained by emailing Kandra.jo@gmail.com., while physical registration forms may be found at Greater Berryville Area Chamber of Commerce office along with many local businesses and can be turned in at Encore Clothes on the Berryville square.

In a previous interview, Ice Cream Social committee chair Ken Wingate said bringing back the event this year after being forced to cancel last year’s event was important to the community.

“It’s really important,” Wingate said. “I mean, this has been one of the big social events in Berryville for 35 years. Last year, it was heartbreaking that we couldn’t have it. So we’re looking forward to having an event that everybody can get out and go to. We know there’s a lot of pent-up demand to get out and do things, so we’re hoping to kind of satisfy that.”

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