Strains of “Pretty Little Dog” and “Cumberland Gap” were bouncing across the rock ledges of Pilot Mountain State Park for a few hours this weekend. It was a small crowd but a very big stage that greeted the Southern String Band, which traveled from Raleigh.
There are a few surprises and some special things being planned for the 2016 centennial of the state parks system. One of those is a video being prepared by Tom Earnhardt, a regular contributor to UNC-TV and a long-time friend and supporter of the state parks. Earnhardt decided an al fresco performance by the Southern String Band might be the perfect thing to get video viewers in the mood.
So, fiddles, banjos, guitars, a mandolin and bass were carefully carted down the Sassafras Trail to the sunny side of the iconic mountain. The musicians warmed to the task as the sun rose and the tunes were as brisk as the October air.
There also is a series of videos being prepared that celebrate the splendors and history of individual state parks. Much of the footage for those was captured by our rangers. Sights, sounds activities and music will combine throughout next year as we commemorate one of the nation’s oldest state parks systems.