Bluegrass benefit for Hospice of Crawford County returns this weekend

Apr. 4—CONNEAUT LAKE — Bluegrass music will be the tie that binds people together this weekend — all to benefit Hospice of Crawford County.

The 2024 Bluegrass Festival is Saturday and Sunday at Hotel Conneaut on the grounds of Conneaut Lake Park.

Admission to the festival is by donation with all of that money going to Hospice of Crawford County. There also will be quilt raffles and 50/50 fundraisers as well as T-shirt sales to benefit the local hospice program.

The family-friendly event has a full lineup of music, beginning at noon Saturday and continuing Sunday afternoon.

Food and beverages are available in the Hotel Conneaut Lounge.

This 37th edition of the annual musical fundraiser is the second one since it had to be paused in 2021 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than a dozen bluegrass bands and performers will take the stage in the ballroom. However, attendees also may find the musicians doing informal jam sessions as well throughout the hotel during the weekend.

"It's really embraced from a community standpoint," Tami Farrell, a registered nurse and director of Hospice of Crawford County, said of the music festival. "It's what people know."

Hospice serves as a positive support system for those in the last stages of terminal illness as well as for their families.

"Right now, our census (of those in hospice care) is at 38, but it can be as high as in the 50s at times," Farrell said.

Money raised during the festival supports the Hospice of Crawford County Benevolent Fund to benefit patients and their families.

That fund helps pay for services or expenses that are not covered by insurance.

"As special needs come up — whether it's social needs or something else — it goes to help our families so they don't worry or stress about being able to make sure their home is heated and how are they going to pay bills," Farrell said.

The fund recently helped a hospice family in need of assistance with heating oil costs for their home.

"It was a family that didn't qualify financially for LIHEAP (Pennsylvania's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program), so that's where we fill in that gap," said Melissa Swartwood, Hospice of Crawford County's marketing liaison.

The festival also is a way to get the word out about local hospice and local palliative care services.

Palliative care assists patients who have chronic medical conditions but aren't yet at that end-of-life stage.

Palliative care includes symptom management of pain, nausea or other types of symptoms, as well as working with the patient's medical care providers, according to Farrell.

"The bluegrass festival is to bring people out and enjoy it, but also learn more about Hospice of Crawford County," she said.


Below is the revised performer lineup for the 2024 Bluegrass Festival to benefit Hospice of Crawford County. The festival is in the ballroom Conneaut Lake Park's Hotel Conneaut, 12241 Lake St.


Noon — Empty Pockets

12:45 p.m. — Casual Hobos

1:30 — Young and Blue

2:30 — Middleground

3 — New Smith Brothers

4:45 — Tug Creek

5:30 — Long Road Home

6:30 — Hidden Drive

7:15 — The Keister Family

8:15 — Old Dawgs New Treats

9 — Generic Newgrass Band

10 — Brett Howland


1 p.m. — Hidden Drive

1:30 — Tug Creek

2 — Old Dawgs New Treats

4 — Middleground

4:30 — Earth Angel

5 — Casual Hobos

Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at