44th annual Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival in Grass Valley

THE CALIFORNIA BLUEGRASS ASSOCIATION presents its 44th annual Father’s Day Festival June 13-16 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley.

As in the past, this year’s event features a lineup of top touring bluegrass bands and five of California’s best bluegrass and old-time music groups. The festival offers four days of entertainment on three stages and jam sessions by music-playing fans in the camping areas.

The major bands appearing include Sister Sadie, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, and The Lonely Heartstring Band. Others are David Parmley & Cardinal Tradition, Tommy & the Rozumatics, Volume Five, Evie Ladin Band, and FY5, plus emerging artist Carolina Blue.

Five West Coast bands will appear on the main stage this year as the California showcase: Phil Salazar and the Kin Folk, Coyote Brothers, The High Water Line, Old Pals, and The Central Valley Boys.

Each year the fairgrounds at Grass Valley begins filling up with campers on the Sunday before the festival begins. Some of them come for a three-day music instructional camp that runs through Wednesday, but most arrive early to play music, hang out with old friends and meet new ones.

On Wednesday, the festival’s vendors arrive, setting up booths in the food area to offer coffee, sausages, Asian food, vegetarian fare, Mexican food, crepes, snow cones and ice cream. There are also vendors of hats, apparel, jewelry, crafts and musical instruments.

Inside the fairground buildings is a luthiers’ pavilion, where they display handmade guitars, banjos, mandolins, fiddles and basses. They also offer instrument setup and repair services.

The CBA Father’s Day Festival is a family friendly event. For children learning to play an instrument, the Kids on Bluegrass program works up songs beginning on Thursday and performs on the main stage Friday and Saturday — a big thrill for the children and the audience. For tickets and information, visit CBAweb.org.

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