Penny Creek Band highlights Scarecrow Stroll and Harvest Festival


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Chris Paganoni, left, Trevor Klutz, Susan Pounds, John Apfelthaler and Fritz Kraemer play for the Penny Creek Band.

VIERA VOICE Courtesy of Penny Creek Band

Late summer, virtually every year, Susan Pounds of the Penny Creek Band looks forward to a call from Jill Blue Gaines, publisher of the Viera Voice.

Gaines, the CEO of the Bluewater Creative Group, conducts the Viera Voice Scarecrow Stroll and Harvest Festival each October at The Avenue Viera. The Penny Creek Band has performed in most of the festivals, and the bluegrass band will be featured at this year’s festival once again.

The sixth Viera Voice Scarecrow Stroll and Harvest Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21 at The Avenue Viera.

Besides Pounds, other members of the Penny Creek Band include Chris Paganoni, Fritz Kraemer, John Apfelthaler and Trevor Klutz. Paganoni plays the guitar and vocals, Kraemer plays the mandolin and vocals, Apfelthaler plays the banjo, guitar and vocals and Klutz plays the fiddle.

“We’re so happy that Jill has invited us back,’’ said Pounds, who plays the mandolin, bass and vocals. “We love performing in the Harvest Festival, and we hope everyone there enjoys our music. It’s a great family event and fundraiser for a great cause.’’

Pounds, who was born in New Orleans and raised in Alabama, moved to Melbourne in 1986. She started playing the guitar in 1987 and soon developed a passion for bluegrass music. Pounds began playing the mandolin in 2000 and then, in 2010, the bass became her primary instrument for the Penny Creek Band.

Just a few days after Hurricane Irma struck Brevard County, Pounds attended a mandolin music camp in Nashville, Tenn.

“I like hanging out in Nashville, taking classes and expanding on my music,’’ Pounds said. “There are so many camps for both the mandolin and the bass. You can always learn and advance. I always want to work on things.’’

Businesses in Viera, Suntree and Rockledge are asked to build scarecrows to encourage foot traffic along a mapped route. Participants in the stroll will log in a secret code they receive at participating businesses that have built a scarecrow. The pull-out maps will be published in this edition of Viera Voice.

Maps are turned in at designated locations, and participants vote for their favorite scarecrows. The winner will receive the People’s Choice award. Participants in the stroll also will be eligible for prizes.

A silent auction to purchase each of the scarecrows will be conducted during the festival. All proceeds will go to the Children's Hunger Project.

The popular Zucchini 500 car race also returns along with the pumpkin patch. Children will build their own race cars from aerodynamic green squash complete with axles and wheels.

The children’s Mini-Crow building contest is open for children in two age groups — 6 to 9 and 10 to 15. The winner in each age group will receive $40 in gift certificates, with the second-place contestant receiving $20 in gift certificates.

While strolling, the Penny Creek Band will contribute to the happy and care-free atmosphere.

“Bluegrass is so special to me,’’ Pounds said. “It complements other types of music. It features all the instruments, and its sounds are like real life. The guys in the band are just awesome, and we get along great.’’