It was the summer of Flower Power, the summer the Beatles first blew our minds with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was the summer the Woodstock generation had its coming-out party at the Monterey International Pop Festival, and the summer Scott McKenzie instigated a vast pilgrimage of youths to San Francisco when he sang that period's countercultural anthem, penned by Papa John Phillips: "If You're Going to San Francisco" (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)." It was indeed the Summer of Love.

Summer of Love... 35 Years LaterThe ideals that came out of those bygone days have not gone unnoticed by Walther Productions, which is warmly remembering this anniversary season with the staging of Summer of Love ... 35 Years Later this weekend at Marvin's Mountaintop in Masontown, WV, 15 miles Southeast of Morgantown. So if you're going to West Virginia for Labor Day Weekend, be sure to wear flowers in your hair.

Summer of Love ... 35 Years Later is a three-day, 20-band Labor Day Weekend experience aimed at connecting the vibe of peace, love, and musical expansion that blossomed during that monumental cultural moment in 1967 with the soundtrack of today's cultural phenomenon - the jamband scene. Starting on Friday and continuing through Labor Day, the festival features two sets of Dark Star Orchestra recreating an entire Grateful Dead show Friday and Saturday night. (Trivia Note: The Grateful Dead were on the bill opening night of the Monterey Pop Fest.)

Also headlining are The Wailers, the Steve Kimock Band, Victor Wooten and the Derek Trucks Band. The rest of the lineup includes Ray's Music Exchange, The Alison Brown Quartet, the Kelly Bell Band, The Catfish Hodge Band, Psychedelic Breakfast, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, the Gordon Stone Band, ulu, Dr. Didg, Moon Boot Lover, The Bomb Squad, Jabali Afrika, The Bridge, Guest and Keith & Joan Pitzer.

Summer of Love ... 35 Years Later is the only national celebration saluting the enormous cultural impact of the unforgettable summer of '67. It pays homage to the music festival movement launched by Monterey Pop and embedded in this country's collective consciousness two years later with Woodstock.

"The bands we work with today are carrying the torch for what was initiated in the late '60s -- particularly during the summer of '67," says promoter Tim Walther. "'Summer of Love ... 35 Years Later' is a celebration of the personal freedom and community spirit that we strive to keep alive at all of our festivals."

For Walther, the ultimate reaffirmation that freedom and spirit is still thriving was personally witnessed this August, when he and his family were among the tens of thousands who attended the long-awaited reunion of the Grateful Dead in Alpine Valley, WI. Experiencing the familiar atmosphere surrounding this historic event was the utmost endorsement of Walther's decision to select Dark Star Orchestra as his festival centerpiece. Overall, the 20 bands that make up the "Summer of Love ... 35 Years Later" display a keen diversity that appeals to old hipsters and newcomers alike.

There is no doubt that for many, the original Summer of Love was a season to treasure. Monterey Pop was the turning point when its musical soundtrack became a world-class industry. The underground music movement emerged above ground, and it was no longer just hippies who were growing their hair. As the music industry was launched toward the corporate behemoth it has become today, it's refreshing to know that the sense of communal freedom and improvisational spirit that gelled that summer can still prevail.

Tickets are $60. A 1-day Sunday into Monday pass is $50. Gates open at 4 p.m. Friday and close at noon Monday. Children under 12 admitted free with accompanying adult. For details, call the Home Grown Music Network's Buzz-A-Band Hotline at (919) 563-4936 or check the Summer of Love website at

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