Bluegrass Festival in Grass Valley on June 12-15

THE CALIFORNIA BLUEGRASS ASSOCIATION presents its 39th Annual Father’s Day Festival June 12-15 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. With top bands from the East and California, the festival offers big-name entertainment, plus many after-hours jam sessions by music-playing fans.

Among the major bands that will be appearing are Junior Sisk, the 2013 International Bluegrass Music Association male vocalist of the year and his band, Ramblers Choice.

Peter Rowan and his band will be there, as will the Lonesome River Band, the Deadly Gentlemen, the Foghorn Stringband, the Kathy Kallick Band, Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands, and the Roland White Band.

Each year a band is selected to be the festival’s Emerging Artists. This year Town Mountain from Asheville, NC, was picked to fill that slot.

The group also received a prestigious Bluegrass Association Momentum Award last year in North Carolina. The award recognizes new, young bluegrass acts taking their place on the national stage.

Five West Coast bands will appear on the main stage this year as the California Showcase. They are Matt & George and their Pleasant Valley Boys, Bucking Mules, Sisters Grim, Bean Creek and Grass Valley’s own Ragged But Right.

Each year the fairgrounds at Grass Valley begins filling up with tents and recreational vehicles on the Sunday before the festival begins.

Festival vendors arrive on Wednesday, setting up a food area that will offer coffee, sausages, Asian food, vegetarian food, Mexican food, crepes, snow cones and a locally made ice cream stand that draws lines of customers.

Nearby are vendors of hats, apparel, jewelry and craft items, musical instruments and supplies.

The festival is family friendly. For children who are learning to play an instrument, the Kids on Bluegrass program begins working up songs on Thursday with main stage performances Friday and Saturday evenings. Several graduates of this program have become professional or semi-professional musicians.


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