JULY 6-9, 2023
Saint Clair, MO

Under a Summer Sun

Photo Credit: Jamie Seed

In the heat of the summer, beneath a sweltering sun and a nearly full moon, the second annual Pickin’ on Picknic filled the walnut grove of Lost Hill Lake with music, remembrances, celebrations and laughter. From the dry dust on Thursday that saw a stream of attendees arrive to the tranquil Sunday morning that watched the music slip lazily down the river, it was a weekend of sights and sounds seared in memory.

Friday night the sun went down on Julian Davis and the Situation, playing a long set that featured Julian’s fast as fire pickin’ and several favorite tunes from his time with the Jeff Austin band. Following that, Leftover Salmon began their slow takeover of the picknic by playing a blazing set that rocked the walnut grove and everyone in it. They returned to pick at the campfire jam so late into the night some of them missed their bus back to the hotel!

Saturday was a day of love and memories. A Pickin’ on Music Festival first, (perhaps of many?) the main stage hosted the wedding of two festival lovebirds. Following, Adam Greuel led a kaleidoscope of artists in a tribute to close Pickin’ friend Jeff Austin, who passed away a month prior. Leftover Salmon took the stage for a second night in a row with long hours of jamgrass that had the crowd dancing beneath the stars, grinning back at the waxing moon.

Rivers and Lakes

What else can be said? To collect the individual stories of the weekend would take volumes. The lake, thankfully not too lost in the hills, offered swimming to young and old alike. The river ran, as rivers do, cool and swift towards the Mississippi. Dogs smiled in the sun’s heat, artists painted and crafted their wares, food sizzled on many grills, wafting enticing smells through the campsites and festival area. Children played beneath a rainbow parachute, and bodies napped between the trees in hammocks hung like chrysalis.

By Sunday morning the all-night bonfires had burned low. Every tune had been picked, souls laid bare and whiskey poured out to thirsty mouths and dry ground. The slow waking saw volunteers busily cleaning, vendors pulling down their carts, and the food truck serving out coffee like a balm to those that needed it. As a winding tune drifted lazily through the walnut grove, all who were awake gathered by the river stage to join the Sunday Morning River Revival, as the musicians and audience sang gospel tunes to sooth those parched souls before they packed up and returned to face the world again on Monday.

Round Three

2019 was a second turn, another chance to get it right. In 2020, Pickin on Picknic will take its third lap. We will strive to exceed expectations, delight, amaze, and surprise, but mostly, we will attempt to honor the faith every attendee has shown in us, and give you a weekend of bluegrass and memories that will stay with you for the year to come.