WOUB Music Blog

Wild Turkey Festival A Full Weekend Of Fun

Tyler Buchanan - Athens Messenger staff reporter

Updated Wed, Apr 30, 2014 10:38 am
Photo Credit: 
Dustin Lynch will perform at McArthur's Wild Turkey Festival on May 2

If you’re heading out of town this week toward McArthur, you may want to stop in and check out the 30th anniversary of the Wild Turkey Festival, which looks to be the most exciting yet.

This year’s festivities will feature multiple nationally known music artists and all the traditions residents have come to love.

The festival opens Thursday, May 1 and carries on until Sunday, with featured entertainment each night and a schedule full of community events, rides and food.

County music star Dustin Lynch is the highlight act this year, set to perform Friday at 9 p.m. The Nashville native’s debut album in 2012 went to number one in the U.S. Country charts, highlighted by hits “Cowboys and Angels” and “She Cranks My Tractor.”

Lynch was nominated for two American Country Awards and also received recognition for “Cowboys and Angels” at the CMT Music Awards in 2013.

Back for another year of rocking the stage is Mr. SPEED, the high-intensity KISS tribute band. The band will headline Saturday night at 9 p.m.

“We’re excited to come back to a place where we got a good reception before,” said Rich Kosak, guitarist for the group. “We like being that act that everybody raises their eyebrows at.”

Other top performers for the weekend include country violinist Chris Higbee (Thursday, 8:30 p.m.) and duo Cooke & Bell (Friday, 7:30 p.m.).

The festival’s Grande Parade is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday and the queen’s crowning will take place shortly after. The car show, baby contest and turkey drop highlight the festival’s closing day on Sunday.

Q&A with Mr. SPEED's Rich Kosak

Rich Kosak is a guitarist an original member of Mr. SPEED, an award-winning KISS tribute band. Kosak and his band will give their second Wild Turkey Festival performance on Saturday at 9 p.m.

The Vinton County Courier talked to Kosak about his appreciation for southeast Ohio and his excitement for coming back to the Wild Turkey Festival.


Courier: Mr. SPEED is coming back to southeast Ohio, having played in McArthur last year as well as in Nelsonville for Parade of the Hills. How is it coming back to these venues and playing for a familiar crowd?

Kosak: We're excited to come back to a place where we got a good reception before. We appreciated greatly the fact that organizers set up a very nice stage and good lighting and sound. This is the first festival of the year we're going to be doing this year.

Courier: Most of the festival's entertainment is country music. Do you like being that unique sound when you get on stage here?

Kosak: I love it. We like being that act that everybody raises their eyebrows at.

Courier: You must have been popular enough for the organizers to want you back again, right?

Kosak: It's very satisfying for us to know that we did a good enough job to invite us back. It's a good feather in our caps.

Courier: Whats the plan for you guys this weekend? Sticking around at all for the festival?

Kosak: We're driving down on Saturday, spending the night and heading back to Cleveland on Sunday. I don't know that we'll have too much time to hang around the festival.

Courier: What about the fair food?

Kosak: To be honest, I'm not really into a lot of the fair food, but some of the guys in the band like it so they may get some. I remember last year we got a great meal in that restaurant near the stage with the bar. I'm hoping we'll go there again this year.

Courier: Mama Renie's?

Kosak: Yeah, that's it. It's definitely the place.